President Donald Trump ordered a major increase in sanctions on Iran on Wednesday as Saudi Arabia displayed remnants of drones and missiles it said were used in a crippling attack “unquestionably sponsored” by Tehran.
Trump gave no explanation in a Twitter post announcing the order, but it followed repeated U.S. assertions that the Islamic Republic was behind Saturday’s attack and came hours after Saudi Arabia said the strike was a “test of global will”, Reuters reported.
“I have just instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to substantially increase sanctions on the country of Iran!” he wrote.
Iran again denied involvement in the Sept. 14 raids, which hit the world’s biggest crude processing facility and initially knocked out half of Saudi output. Responsibility was claimed by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group.
In an attempt to support its assertion that Iran was responsible, Saudi Arabia displayed drone and missile debris it said was undeniable evidence of Iranian aggression.
A total of 25 drones and missiles were used in the attacks launched from Iran not Yemen, Defense Ministry spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki told a news conference.”The attack was launched from the north and unquestionably sponsored by Iran,” he said, adding Iranian Delta Wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) were used in addition to cruise missiles.
An investigation into where the attacks were launched from was still under way and the result would be announced at a later date, he said.
Proof of Iranian responsibility, and in particular firm evidence that it was launched from Iranian territory, could pressure Riyadh and Washington into a response. Both nations, however, were stressing the need for caution, Reuters adds.