Trump slaps sanctions on Iran’s national bank over Saudi oil strikes

How did tensions between the United States and Iran reach this point?

Michael Collins, John Fritze and David Jackson

USA TODAY

Published 11:12 AM EDT Sep 20, 2019

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said Friday he would impose new sanctions on Iran’s national bank in retaliation for its alleged role in the crippling strikes on Saudi Arabian oil facilities last weekend.

Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office during a meeting with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Trump said the sanctions would go “right to the top.” Trump is due to host Morrison at a state dinner later Friday.

Trump had promised earlier this week to slap new sanctions on Iran following the attack. U.S. officials have blamed Iran for that missile and drone attack, though Tehran has denied involvement.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called the attack an “act of war” but Trump has largely demurred when asked about a U.S. military response. Iran had denied taking part in the attack and officials there warned of an “immediate response” if the U.S. takes military action.

Trump is scheduled to host a national security meeting Friday to discuss possible military options on Iran.

The president has indicated he would like to avoid force, and pursue a diplomatic solution instead.

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