At the same time, the US President said that he wants to know the opinion of Riyadh about who was behind the drone attack.
WHITE HOUSE – US President Donald Trump said the US military is “on full alert” to respond to attacks on one of Saudi Arabia’s largest oil fields and the world’s largest oil stabilization plant.
“There is reason to believe we know the culprit,” Trump tweeted Sunday evening.
At the same time, he added that he wants to know the opinion of Saudi Arabia about who was behind this attack, and “under what conditions we will act.”.
Earlier, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted that “Iran has carried out an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supplies.” US diplomat rejects claims of Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen that they carried out the drone attack.
Iran calls accusations against itself “the biggest lie”.
The likely targets of the United States or Saudi Arabia in Iran “could be oil refineries and important oil facilities,” Ali Shihabi, founder of the Arabia Foundation think tank, told Voice of America..
According to Shihabi, despite Trump’s tweet, regardless of Riyadh’s “decision”, “[the Saudi] retaliatory actions on the other side of the Persian Gulf will subject US troops and targets to an attack from Iran, so [Saudi Arabia] must coordinate with USA”.
Jeffrey Luce, a researcher at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies, considers Trump’s announcement that he is leaving the decision to Saudi Arabia “pathetic.”.
Luce, publisher and founder of the arms control blog Arms Control Wonk, told VOA that the US president was “clearly preparing an excuse for himself” so that he could announce that he “wanted revenge, but the Saudi side said no.”.
Lewis notes that Trump “likes to make tough statements,” and he cannot rule out “some symbolic actions,” but he does not think that the US president “has the courage to start a war.”.
Rising tensions lead to a sharp rise in oil prices in Asian trading on Monday.
Crude oil futures at the opening of the markets rose by $ 11.73 to $ 71.95. This is the largest jump in dollar terms since the start of futures trading in 1988.
Trump also announced on Sunday that he has authorized the use of oil from the strategic reserve if necessary “in volumes to be determined at a later date”, but sufficient to maintain normal levels of supply in the market..
Attacks on a plant in the settlement of Abqaik and a field in the Hurais region of Saudi Arabia before dawn on Saturday led to large fires.
No one was injured as a result of the air strikes, according to the Saudi authorities. Some analysts suggest that this is a high-precision attack using cruise missiles that were launched from Iran or Iraqi territory..
The destruction severely curtailed Saudi Arabia’s daily oil production of 5.7 million barrels per day, or about 6 percent of global daily production..
Saudi authorities are trying to restore operation of the affected facilities and say they will use the country’s reserves to ensure uninterrupted supplies.
President Trump: Looks like Iran was responsible for Saudi oil attack
Trump on Sunday also called “fake news” reports that he was allegedly ready to meet with Iranian representatives “without any conditions.”.
However, on September 10, two members of his cabinet, Pompeo and Finance Minister Stephen Mnuchin, said the president was ready to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani “without preconditions.”.
It was assumed that such a meeting could take place during the session of the UN General Assembly later this month in New York..
Tehran said, however, that this will not be possible if Washington does not lift sanctions against Iran..
The US continues its so-called “maximum pressure” campaign on Tehran over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, after Trump pulled the US out of a multilateral agreement last year to restrict Iran’s weapons of mass destruction programs..
Trump said the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan agreed under his predecessor Barack Obama is one of the worst and most unilateral agreements the United States has negotiated..