Trump says he plans to ‘substantially increase’ sanctions on Iran

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US President Donald Trump | Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The move comes after a recent attack on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia.



President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he has directed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin “to substantially increase” U.S. sanctions on Iran following an attack on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia.

The action, announced in a tweet, marks the administration’s first official, public response to the weekend drone strike Saturday on the Saudi kingdom’s Abqaiq plant and its Khurais oil field, which Trump has shown reluctance in recent days to blame squarely on Tehran.

The president has also hesitated to launch a military strike against Iran for allegedly disrupting the international crude oil supply, despite threatening Sunday that the U.S. was “locked and loaded.”

“I don’t want war with anybody. I’m somebody that would like not to have war,” he said Monday, while also warning that the U.S. is “prepared more than anybody” to retaliate.

But Trump appeared defensive Tuesday evening of his tack toward Tehran after Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) tweeted that the White House’s “measured response” to the shooting down of an American drone in June “was clearly seen by the Iranian regime as a sign of weakness.”

Trump responded online: “No Lindsey, it was a sign of strength that some people just don’t understand!”

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