Camels are seen beyond an oil well near the Khurais oil facility in an area where operations are being expanded, about 60 miles southeast of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Monday, June 23, 2008.
"A Crude Threat: The Limits of an Iranian Missile Campaign against Saudi Arabian Oil"
Journal Article, International Security, volume 36, issue 1, pages 167-201
The United States and its Persian Gulf allies have been increasingly concerned with the growing size and complexity of Iran's ballistic missile programs. At a time when the United States and its allies remain locked in a standoff with Iran over the latter's nuclear program, states around the Persian Gulf fear that Iran would retaliate for an attack on its nuclear program by launching missiles at regional oil installations and other strategic targets. An examination of the threat posed by Iran's missiles to Saudi Arabian oil installations, based on an assessment of Iran's missile capabilities, a detailed analysis of Saudi Arabian oil infrastructure, and a simulated missile campaign against the network using known Iranian weapons, finds no evidence of a significant Iranian missile threat to Saudi infrastructure. These findings cast doubt on one aspect of the Iranian threat to Persian Gulf oil while offering an analytic framework for understanding developments in the Iranian missile arsenal and the vulnerability of oil infrastructure to conventional attack.
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