President Donald Trump announced Friday that he has applied new sanctions on Iran’s central bank, days after the attack on a Saudi oil facility that the US has blamed on Tehran.
Trump made the announcement as he prepares to meet with his national security council to weigh options for responding to the attack, which US officials say was carried out by drone and missiles and which affected 5% of the world’s global oil supplies.
Iran has denied responsibility. Yemen-based Houthi rebels, locked in an ongoing war for control of the country with Saudi Arabia and its allies, have said they are behind the attack.
Trump’s full national security council will meet later Friday to discuss options on Iran, according to a senior administration official. This comes as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo returns from a trip to the region where he consulted with Saudi rulers and other Gulf allies on the situation in the region and next possible steps.
Pompeo is expected to formally update the group on what he heard from the Saudis. As he departed the region, the top US diplomat signaled the US would stop short of strikes, saying he was seeking a “peaceful resolution” to the situation.
Officials still believe a non-kinetic option is most likely, but CNN has reported that the President will be presented with the option of moving more troops and Patriot missiles to the region.
Trump, who has campaigned on extricating the US from the Middle East and endless wars, is expected to decide on whether to go forward with these deployments by the end of the week.