President Donald Trump on Wednesday pledged to “substantially increase” sanctions on Iran as tensions in the Middle East continue to rise following an attack on a Saudi oil field.
“I have just instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to substantially increase Sanctions on the country of Iran!” Trump tweeted.
Trump’s tweet came as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was headed to Saudi Arabia to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss the recent attack on the kingdom’s oil facilities, an action American officials believe originated from Iranian territory.
NBC News reported Tuesday that the administration was weighing a range of options to retaliate against Iran, including a cyberattack or physical strikes, U.S. officials briefed on recent deliberations said. Military leaders presented Trump with multiple possible actions in a national security meeting Monday, but Trump asked for additional choices, people briefed on that meeting said.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Saudi Arabia should see the attack on its oil facilities as a warning to end the war in Yemen, while insisting the attack came from Yemeni forces.
The president tweeted over the weekend that the U.S. was “locked and loaded” in preparation for some sort of retaliatory action in response to the oil field attack.
“Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked,” he tweeted Sunday. ‘There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!
Speaking with reporters in the Oval Office on Monday, however, Trump said he doesn’t “want war with anybody.”
“I’m somebody that would like not to have war,” he added, saying that the U.S. has “to sit down with the Saudis and work something out.”