Donald Trump to increase Iran sanctions

18 September 2019, 15:23

Donald Trump has said he will "substantially increase" sanctions on Iran.
Donald Trump has said he will "substantially increase" sanctions on Iran. Picture: PA

By Sylvia DeLuca

Donald Trump has said he will "substantially increase" sanctions on Iran, two days after he told reporters it is "looking like" Iran was behind the attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities.

The latest escalation in tensions between the two countries follows the attack over the weekend on Saudi oil facilities.

The US president has insisted that he does not want war on Iran.

The Saudi government is preparing to present "material evidence" proving Iranian involvement in the weekend's attack against two major Saudi oil production plants.

Iran has rejected claims it was to blame for Saturday's drone attacks, which damaged the world's biggest crude processing plant in Saudi Arabia and triggered the largest jump in crude prices in decades.

"I have just instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to substantially increase Sanctions on the country of Iran!" Trump tweeted.

It isn't immediately clear to whom the sanctions would apply. The US has ratcheted up sanctions on the country after withdrawing from a multi-nation nuclear deal last year.

Global prices surged nearly 20% following the bombing of two oil plants, before dropping about 10% within 24 hours when markets calmed in reaction to Mr Trump's suggestion that America's stockpile could be used if required.

Yemen's Houthi rebels, who are backed by Iran, say they are responsible and have warned of more strikes.

The Iranian president says US claims of Iran's role is "slander".