U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday doubled down on accusations Iran is responsible for the weekend bombing on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, telling reporters that the strike was “an act of war.”
Pompeo, speaking from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, added that even if the "fraudulent claims" of responsibility by the Yemen Houthi rebels were true, "it doesn't change the fingerprints of the Ayatollah as having put at risk the global energy supply."
His comments come hours after President Trump tweeted that he had ordered Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to “substantially increase sanctions” on Iran, amid escalating tensions between the two countries.
I have just instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to substantially increase Sanctions on the country of Iran!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 18, 2019
Iran has denied involvement in the attacks but has promised to immediately retaliate if Tehran is targeted.
“Well, it’s looking that way,” the president told reporters at the White House on Monday when asked if Iran was responsible. “We’ll let you know definitively.” He added: “That’s being checked out right now.”