There is a time to keep silence and a time to speak, said Ecclesiastes the Preacher, as surely as there is a time of war and a time of peace. He might have added there is also a time for quiet, subtle diplomacy. That time is now.

Following the attack last weekend by 18 assorted combat drones and ground to ground missiles on Saudi Arabia’s Abqaiq complex and Khourais oilfields, Aramco lost half its oil production capacity in a matter of minutes. Some has been restored, but the damage will not be made good fully for months.

It was a devastating strike, its impact psychological as much as physical.