An interim report, put to the United Nations Security Council on Thursday, says that one of the drones, prior to hitting its target, travelled to a location approximately 200 km northwest of the attack site, which combined with the 900 km range of the drone indicates that the attack came from the north.
The report added that the US identified several similarities between the drones used and the Iranian designed and produced IRN-05 UAV drone. The report contained pictures of similar components, as well as an Iranian-linked company name and the date in Persian written on the parts. Although, they noted that this does not definitively prove the origin of the strike.
The report read: “At this time, the US Intelligence Community has not identified any information from the recovered weapon systems used in the 14 September attacks on Saudi Arabia that definitively reveals an attack origin.”
The US, European powers and Saudi Arabia blamed Iran’s regime for the September 14 attack, even though the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen, which is south of Saudi Arabia, took responsibility.
Last month, Reuters reported that leadership approved the attacks on the Abqaiq and the Khurais oil plants, wanting to stop short of provoking a devastating US response.
They also said that the launch site was the Ahvaz airbase in southwest Iran, but that some drones flew over Iraq and Kuwait to give Iran plausible deniability for the attack that wiped out one-fifth of the world’s oil supply.
US Special Envoy for Iran, Brian Hook, said this was more evidence that Tehran was behind the attack, adding that the “recovered debris is consistent with Iranian-produced material”.
While US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft said: “The damage at the oil facilities shows that the attack came from the north, not from the south, as you would expect if the Houthis were responsible.”
The US hopes this report will encourage extra support for its maximum pressure policy to isolate Iran and force it to the negotiating table for a new nuclear deal.
Donald Trump withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal between world powers and Iran last year, citing regime’s malign activities, and snapped back sanctions on the regime in order to choke back Iranian regime’s crude oil sales, which are its main source of revenue.