President Trump has responded to the attack by opening federal emergency reserves and by explaining that the U.S. is “locked and loaded depending on verification” and waiting for the Saudis to say “under what terms we would proceed!”
Hours after the attack, which Iran is denying, the Islamic nation detained another oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, according to reports.
All this after it was just recently exposed that Obama downplayed a planned terror attack on U.S. soil after it was fortunately stopped. General Mattis explained that it would have been worse than 9/11.
According to unconfirmed reports from the region, the ship was carrying around 250,000 litres of fuel.
“This boat was sailing from Bandar Lengeh towards United Arab Emirates waters before it was seized 20 miles east of Greater Tunb island,” Brigadier General Ali Ozmayi was quoted as saying.
“The boat’s 11 crew members have been arrested,” he added, without saying when it happened or giving their nationality.
State television broadcast footage from the deck of a trawler-sized vessel with open hatches showing tanks full of what appeared to be fuel.
If confirmed, the seizure would represent the latest move by Iran to hamper navigation in the waterway – one of the key routes for global energy supplies.
Iran launched nearly a dozen cruise missiles and over 20 drones from its territory in the attack on a key Saudi oil facility Saturday, a senior Trump administration official told ABC News Sunday.
It is an extraordinary charge to make, that Iran used missiles and drones to attack its neighbor and rival Saudi Arabia, as the region teeters on the edge of high tensions.
President Donald Trump warned the U.S. was “locked and loaded” to respond to the attack on Sunday, waiting for verification of who was responsible and for word from Saudi Arabia on how to proceed.
But a senior U.S. official told ABC News Saturday: “It was Iran. The Houthis are claiming credit for something they did not do.”
Pompeo tweeted that there was “no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.”
Smoke is seen following a fire at Aramco facility in the eastern city of Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, Sept. 14, 2019.
The attack on the Saudi state-owned oil company Aramco also included more than 20 drones, the official said.
Iran has denied responsibility for the attack, accusing Pompeo of “max deceit,” as the country’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted Saturday.
In a Sunday evening tweet, Trump did not share the definitive accusation against Iran, instead saying the U.S. had “reason to believe that we know the culprit … but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom [of Saudi Arabia] as to who they believe was the cause of this attack.”
Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2019
The senior official told ABC News the president is fully aware that Iran is responsible, but he wants the Saudis to acknowledge it if they want U.S. help.
Trump promised the U.S. was “locked and loaded depending on verification” and waiting for the Saudis to say “under what terms we would proceed!”
On Sunday, the president reacted to the increase in oil prices by announcing the use of emergency U.S. reserves.
“Based on the attack on Saudi Arabia, which may have an impact on oil prices, I have authorized the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, if needed, in a to-be-determined amount sufficient to keep the markets well-supplied,” Trump said in a series of tweets. “I have also informed all appropriate agencies to expedite approvals of the oil pipelines currently in the permitting process in Texas and various other States.”
Established in the 1970s in response to the Arab oil embargo, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is the world’s largest crude oil stash. Located along parts of the U.S. Gulf Coast, it has been used a handful of times since its conception: during the first Gulf War in 1991, after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005 and following supply chain disruptions in Libya in 2011.
Trump’s decision, which had been signaled earlier this weekend by Energy Secretary Rick Perry, comes after a series of drone attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia cut off around 5 percent of the country’s crude output, sparking fears that they will impact oil prices around the globe.