News : Middle East

US President Orders Further Sanctions on Iran Over Saudi Oil Attack

US President Donald Trump, as a response to the attack, has called on his Treasury Secretary to increase sanctions on Iran

Saudi Arabia has said that the attack on two of its major oil installations on the morning of Saturday 14th September involved seven cruise missile and 18 drones.

Shortly after the attack, the Houthi rebels in Yemen announced that they were responsible for the attacks. However, many were quick to point out that it was almost impossible for the Houthis to have advanced so far in terms of capabilities to carry out such an attack.

This led to many accusing Iran of being responsible for the attacks and the Saudi defense ministry has displayed evidence supporting these claims.

Iran, of course, has denied any involvement but several world leaders are adamant of Iran’s involvement.

US President Donald Trump, as a response to the attack, has called on his Treasury Secretary to increase sanctions on Iran “substantially”. It is not yet known what these sanctions will involve but it is possible that Washington will target the secondary sanctions. If so, this will affect the Europeans in their efforts with regards to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). For example, it is possible that Trump could put a stop to the $15 billion in credit lines that France has been floating.

Saudi Arabia has said that the claims by the Houthi movement are nothing more than a cover-up to conceal Iran’s involvement.

As the days go on, more details emerge about the attack that initially knocked out 50 percent of the Saudi oil production, which in itself resulted in oil prices increasing. A US official has said that there is evidence to show that the strikes were initiated in south-western Iran.

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the United States would like to build a coalition to deter the Iran threat. He said that he would like to see Arab and European partners involved following Saturday’s attack that he considers “an act of war” against the kingdom.

Secretary Pompeo made the comments on the way to Saudi Arabia where he is to have talks with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He described the attack as being on a scale that has not been seen before.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the main opposition to the Iranian regime, said that the international community must take action and not remain silent about the attack carried out by Iran, pointing out that inaction will only embolden the regime.

She said that the regime’s mercenaries and Revolutionary Guards must be expelled immediately from the countries where it is warmongering, in particular, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Mrs. Rajavi also said that the EU must put the Supreme Leader, his offices, the Ministry of Intelligence and the IRGC on the terrorist watch list.

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