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“I have just instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to substantially increase Sanctions on the country of Iran!” U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted early on Wednesday, days after top U.S. officials blamed Iran for the attacks on critical Saudi oil infrastructure.
Earlier this week, President Trump told media “I’m somebody that would like not to have war,” following a tweet in which he said the U.S. was “locked and loaded” to respond to this weekend’s attack on Saudi oil infrastructure that sent markets into a frenzy.
President Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Energy Secretary Rick Perry all blamed Iran for the attack despite a statement from the Iran-affiliated Houthi rebels in Yemen who claimed responsibility for the attacks.
On Saturday, the Abqaiq facility and the Khurais oil field in Saudi Arabia were hit by attacks, which resulted in the temporary suspension of 5.7 million bpd of Saudi Arabia’s crude oil production, or around 5 percent of global daily oil supply.
In an update on the progress in restoring supply, Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday that the return to normal production would likely take less than feared, sparking a massive oil price drop of 6 percent late on Tuesday morning, just a day after prices had surged the most in one day on record.
In the aftermath of the attacks, the Trump Administration is considering various options for retaliation against Iran, NBC News reported on Tuesday, citing U.S. officials and others briefed on the Administration’s deliberations.
The options the Administration is considering include physical missile attacks on Iranian oil facilities or bases and assets of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a cyberattack, or providing intelligence and support for a strike by Saudi Arabia, NBC News said.
Yet, officials told NBC News that no decision has been made. There are no signs of an imminent military action from the U.S. either, the sources told NBC News.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.