US imposes stiffer sanctions on Iran over attack on Saudi oil facilities

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

President Donald Trump has ordered stiffer sanctions on Iran over the recent drone strikes on Saudi Arabian oil facilities.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels had claimed responsibility for the strikes which cut five per cent of the daily global oil supply but the US said the rebel group did not have the capacity to carry out such strike.

“It’s very easy to start. If we have to do something, we’ll do it… we’ll be adding some very significant sanctions against Iran,” Trump had earlier said.

Asked if he’s looking at a military strike, the president said: “We’ll see what happens… there’s the ultimate option and there are options less powerful than that … the ultimate option meaning go in, war.”

Speaking on Wednesday after a meeting with Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, in the oil-rich kingdom, Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, described the attacks as an “act of war”.

“This was an Iranian attack. We were blessed there were no Americans killed in this attack, but anytime you have an act of war of this nature, there’s always a risk that could happen,” he said.

“That’s my mission here, is to work with our partners in the region. We will be working with our European partners as well.

“We’re working to build out a coalition to develop a plan to deter them. The intelligence community has high confidence that these were not weapons that would have been in the possession of the Houthis. As for how we know, the equipment used is unknown to be in the Houthis’ arsenal.”

The Saudi Arabian military authorities also claimed they have evidence from surveillance cameras that showed that Iran was responsible for the attack on their oil facility.

“This attack was launched from the north, and was unquestionably sponsored by Iran,” said Turki al-Maliki, a military spokesman said.

“This attack did not originate from Yemen, despite Iran’s best effort to make it appear so.”

Some experts have warned that with the projected production shortage of 155 million barrels per month as a result of the strikes, oil prices could go as high as $100 — last seen six years ago.

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