The report added that although the Saudis labelled as Iranian the parts of a cruise missile they showed, they stopped short of explicitly accusing Iran of conducting the strikes.
“If [Saudi Arabia] names Iran as the aggressor then it’s beholden…that they have to respond in some ways,” Wood said, “Is their military, which is well-equipped, is it tactically competent? And then are they willing to suffer the consequences of some kind of a conflict when they are so dependent on this energy infrastructure.”
Judith Miller, Adjunct Fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, Pulitzer-winning journalist and Fox News contributor said that the Saudis know that they are not able to defeat Iran in a full-blown conflict.
“The Saudis either don’t believe the Americans or don’t want to believe the Americans, because they don’t want to be saddled with the burden to respond militarily to Iran because they understand that in such a contest they would be toast,” said Miller.
Miller added that President Trump has found himself in a difficult situation, as members of his own party are pushing him to engage the Iranians over this aggression.
“It is the Republicans, Lindsey Graham, General Jack Keane…who really are demanding that something be done…lest we risk even more aggressive action on the part of the Iranians, who at this point may think that they can get away with everything.”