Pompeo: Saudi Oil Attack an 'Act of War' by Iran

As Trump hits Iran with new sanctions
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2019 8:27 AM CDT
Updated Sep 18, 2019 3:13 PM CDT
Trump: 'Substantially' Increasing Iran Sanctions
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a meeting with Guinean President Alpha Conde at the State Department in Washington on Friday.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Trump may have hedged on officially naming Iran as the party responsible for the weekend attack on Saudi oil facilities, but he lowered the financial kibosh on Tehran on Wednesday morning, Bloomberg reports. "I have just instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to substantially increase Sanctions on the country of Iran!" he tweeted, with no further elaboration. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to the Persian Gulf Wednesday to hammer out a response, reports the Washington Post, a "spur-of-the-moment" trip to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates after he deflected weekend speculation that Iran-allied Houthi rebels in Yemen may have been behind the assault. Shortly after landing in Saudi Arabia, the AP reports Pompeo called the attack "an act of war" by Iran.

Pompeo has previously placed blame directly on Iran for "an unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply," per the Guardian. Who won't be participating in any talks, by all appearances: Iran. "All the officials in the Islamic Republic unanimously believe that there will be no negotiations at any level with the United States," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, noted online. Pompeo will confer overseas with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the attack and on "[coordinating] efforts to counter Iranian aggression in the region," the State Department noted Tuesday, per USA Today. (More Mike Pompeo stories.)

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