Saudi Arabian Oil Facilities Attacked…

U.S. Escalates Threats Against Iran – Again!



This week the U.S. sent troops to Saudi Arabia to help “defend” it against Iran. This is a step up the ladder that leads to war. So let’s be clear:

War in the Persian Gulf—a war that could possibly involve Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and/or the U.S.—would be a disaster for the masses in that region and could spark a larger, even more catastrophic conflict in the world. This danger flows out of the U.S. desire to strategically dominate that region, super-exploit its peoples, and plunder its resources. This violent domination and plunder is totally unjust!

The war danger has been made worse by the intensified economic and political aggression carried out by the Trump/Pence fascist regime—a regime whose leader has openly threatened the use of nuclear weapons in regional conflicts and who has said he would “obliterate” Iran from the face of the Earth in the event of war. Those who live in the U.S. have a special duty to oppose these war moves and to win people to welcome the defeats of any such moves by the U.S. The masses here should also know about, and be won to support, the Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist), which has taken up the new synthesis of communism brought forward by Bob Avakian and which is working to overthrow its rulers.

Some Background

On Saturday, September 14, two major Saudi Arabian oil facilities were attacked and severely damaged. It’s been reported that half of Saudi Arabia’s massive oil production was temporarily shut down. Saudi Arabia and its oil production are key cogs in the U.S. imperialist empire and the global capitalist system overall, and the inability of the U.S. to “protect” its client dictatorship in Saudi Arabia makes the U.S. empire look weak and invites other foes to move against it.

Right after the attack, Iran-backed Houthi forces in Yemen claimed 10 of their drones carried out the attack in retaliation for the four-and-a-half-year war of aggression that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have carried out against Yemen. A war which has left over 85,000 children dead and 14 million Yemenis on the brink of starvation—with the full backing of the U.S. and European powers.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran and called the attack an “act of war.” He claimed the attack was beyond the Houthis’ capabilities. U.S. officials said the attack came from the north—pointing to Iran—not Yemen to the south. Saudi Arabia laid responsibility at Iran’s doorstep by displaying what it claimed were Iranian-built missile components used in the strike (although it didn’t say where the attack originated from).

Trump said Iran was likely to blame and the U.S. was “locked and loaded” for combat.

Iran has denied any involvement and warned there would be “total war” if the U.S. attacked it. No definitive proof has yet been provided of who carried out the attack.

On Friday, September 20, Trump imposed additional economic and financial sanctions on Iran’s banking system and ordered the deployment of several hundred more troops to the region, including Saudi Arabia. This is a further escalation of economic warfare against Iran through draconian sanctions, backed by military threats and deployments. (See “America—the Lying, Deal-Breaking Aggressor in the Persian Gulf.”)

The situation is dangerous and unpredictable, with Trump ratcheting up pressure and provocations against Iran, saying that the U.S. has a “totally renovated” military that includes “new nuclear,” warning, “The nuclear is at a level that it’s never been at before.” (Iran has no nuclear weapons.)

The U.S. Is the Real Aggressor

In reality, the U.S. set the stage for today’s clashes in the Middle East no matter who turns out to have attacked Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, and even as the Islamic Republic of Iran is a reactionary regime.1

The U.S., under both Democrats and Republicans, has inflicted one biblical hell after another on country after country in the Middle East. Controlling the Middle East, with its vast fossil fuel resources has historically been key to America’s dominance and its capitalist-imperialist system. For an explanation of why such wars and aggression are baked into the very nature and workings of capitalism-imperialism, and why this system cannot be reformed but must be overthrown to end this scourge on humanity, go HERE.

In May 2018, the Trump/Pence regime pulled out of the nuclear deal negotiated by Obama between Iran, the U.S., and other global powers—and re-imposed harsh economic and financial sanctions. This section of the U.S. ruling class, along with its allies Israel and Saudi Arabia, see the Obama nuclear deal as “having given a ‘free pass’” to Iran to continue extending its influence as a regional player with ambitions to project dominance—and contending with the U.S. in its sphere of influence. They also perceive the deal as insufficient in containing Iranian ambitions for nuclear weapons on a long-term basis.

These sanctions amount to a declaration of economic warfare, aimed at strangling, starving, and collectively punishing a whole country of more than 80 million people. The goal: weakening, destabilizing, or forcing the Iranian regime to its knees. It is this “maximum pressure” campaign that has driven the Iranian regime, in pursuit of its own interests, to take actions in response (whether or not it was involved in the recent attacks on Saudi Arabia), which the U.S. then deems “unprovoked aggression.”

And now Trump has sent more troops to the region, including to Saudi Arabia, which could become a “tripwire” igniting war if any are harmed.

While the media trains people to frame everything in terms of what’s in “our” interests—which in REALITY are the interests of America as an oppressive global power—the interests of the people lie with humanity and the people of the Middle East, not with these imperialist U.S. rulers or the reactionary Iranian regime! (See “Gangsters Debate Which Crimes Best Serve Their ‘National Interests’—What Is Revealed and What Is Missing in the New York Times’ ‘Secret History of the Push to Strike Iran’?”)

The Democrats have no answer, and pose no alternative. In fact, some are arguing that Trump should respond militarily to the attack on Saudi facilities—otherwise the U.S. will look “weak” and not be seen as a “reliable partner.” In fact as we wrote previously, when the nuclear deal was first struck in 2015, Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer opposed it and voted against it. He said that the agreement was not severe, intrusive, and punitive enough against Iran on the nuclear aspects—and on the non-nuclear aspect of extending its influence in the region, Iran would “redouble its efforts to create even more trouble in the Middle East, and perhaps, beyond”—imperialist doublespeak for contending with the U.S. This is no different than the Trump/Pence regime!

Other Democrats are clamoring that any decisions on attacking Iran must be made by Congress. A question: What gives the U.S. Congress the right to decide whether people live or die halfway around the world?

This situation poses an urgent challenge for those who do see the U.S. war threats for the monstrous crimes they are: to go out all over—to the climate protests, campuses, neighborhoods, public squares, BEB events, and more. We need to a draw a clear line of demarcation with the slogans below—and struggle for people to stand on the right side and act in the interests of humanity.

American Lives Are Not More Important Than Other People’s Lives.
—Bob Avakian, BAsics 5:7

NO U.S. War On Iran!


1. The Islamic Republic of Iran, a predominantly Shi’ite country of more than 80 million people, is a major regional power in the Middle East. Its rulers are vicious oppressors in their own right and overall eager to facilitate the imperialist plunder of Iran’s resources and people as long as they get their cut. But they often oppose U.S. and Israeli interests in the region, directly or through forces in other countries they are aligned with. And Iran represents a pole of opposition that strengthens other regional forces that the U.S. and Israel want to subordinate.  [back]

Map of the Middle East and surrounding regions

How People Are Trained to Think Only American Lives Count

Just think about how the media treats this and trains people to think American lives are the only ones that count. If the unemployment rate goes up or down a few tenths of a percent in the U.S., it’s big news and a big concern. But when America—because of its position as the world’s leading banker and financial predator—is able to largely cut off Iran’s oil lifeline, push unemployment to 25 percent, drive prices sky high, rob youth of their future, and deny Iranians needed medicine—that’s treated as a legitimate action and there’s a deafening silence from the government and media about this outrage against ordinary Iranians.

Now after the recent attack in Saudi Arabia, where do the media talking heads with their microphones go—to gas stations so they can talk about the possibility that prices will rise for the American consumer! Never mind the 80 million-plus Iranians who are being impoverished as war hangs over their heads!

Meanwhile, Trump has indicated that his “red line” that would lead to an attack on Iran is the harming of any Americans. Again, what about the Iranian children, grandparents, mothers, fathers, students, youth—as well as many others across the Middle East—whose lives are potentially in the crosshairs? Over and over it has been shown that they count for nothing in the calculations of these imperialists.

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