Trump Warns Iran: The United States of America is ‘Locked and Loaded’
President send threat to Iranian regime over Saudi Arabia oil supply attack
President Donald Trump has issued a warning to Iran that the United States of America is now "locked and loaded" in response to the Saturday attack on a Saudi Arabia oil supply.
Trump appeared to threaten the Iranian regime in a Sunday tweet following the drone strike by Iran-backed Houthi rebels.
The strike hit oil fields in Saudi Arabia, resulting in a reported cut to global oil production of 5 percent.
"Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked," President Trump tweeted.
"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!"
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
Earlier on Sunday, Trump also tweeted that he had authorized the release of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, “if necessary,” to counteract the impact of the Houthi strikes on the global markets.
The Trump administration released black and white satellite images of damage to the oil field and refinery, which they claimed showed all the impacts came from the north or northwest, in the direction of Iran and Iraq.
At the same time, a senior Trump official told ABC News the damage was caused by a dozen cruise missiles and more than 20 drones launched from Iran.
The regime in Tehran has denied any involvement in the blasts, describing accusations against it "unacceptable" and "baseless," and adding it is ready for "full-fledged war" if the US takes action.
Iran-backed Houthi rebels, which operate out of Yemen, have officially claimed responsibility.
Attacks on the world's largest oil refinery at Abqaiq and an oil field at Khurais have knocked out more than half of Saudi crude output, or five percent of global supply.
Global energy prices spiked Monday as a result, as the markets absorbed the impact of the largest disruption to supplies in history.
In June, President Trump called off an airstrike against Iran in retaliation for the downing of an American drone in international waters.
Trump tweeted on that occasion that the U.S. had been “cocked & loaded” before he decided the cost in civilian casualties would not be worth the effort.
The National Iranian American Council (NIAC), a pro-Iran lobby group, blamed the United States, indirectly, for the strikes on Saudi Arabia, saying in a statement Sunday that while Iran might have been responsible, it had a clear “motive, given the economic warfare being waged against it.”
NIAC discouraged any military strike on Iran, which it suggested would lead to a worse “catastrophe” than the Iraq War, and suggested that the world “offer economic relief in exchange for Iranian restraint.”