U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday there were many options short of war with Iran after Saudi Arabia displayed remnants of drones and missiles which it said were used in a crippling attack on its oil sites that was “unquestionably sponsored” by Tehran.
“There are many options. There’s the ultimate option and there are options that are a lot less than that. And we’ll see,” Trump told reporters in Los Angeles. “I’m saying the ultimate option meaning go in – war.”
Trump, who earlier said on Twitter that he had ordered the U.S. Treasury to “substantially increase sanctions on the country of Iran!” told reporters the unspecified, punitive economic measures would be unveiled within 48 hours.
Trump’s tweet followed repeated U.S. assertions that the Islamic Republic was behind Saturday’s attacks and came hours after Saudi Arabia said the strike was a “test of global will.”
Iran dismissed the allegations
Iran again denied involvement in the September 14 raids, which hit the world’s biggest crude oil processing facility and initially knocked out half of Saudi output. Saudi Arabia is the world’s leading oil exporter.
“They want to impose maximum … pressure on Iran through slander,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said.
“We don’t want conflict in the region… Who started the conflict?” he added, blaming Washington and its Gulf allies for the war in Yemen.