PM Imran, Prince Salman discuss situation after attacks at Saudi oil facilities

Darnell Taylor
September 17, 2019

"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!"

Short said the U.S. secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, would be presenting evidence of Iranian involvement.

Anger over Saturday's barrage on two Saudi oil facilities has been growing, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blaming Tehran for the drone attacks.

Oil prices, experts said, could spike in the next several days as a result of the attack on Saudi Aramco, the second-largest oil producer in the world.

However, the attack on Saudi Arabia seems to have dashed any hopes of an early meeting during the U.N. General Assembly. In a series of tweets after meeting with Trump and other senior national security officials, Esper said the administration was working with partner nations "to address this unprecedented attack and defend the global rules-based order that is being undermined by Iran".

The Iran-supported Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility for the attack.

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There had been reports about a possible meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, during the upcoming UN General Assembly this month in NY.

Downplaying any talk of imminent USA military action, Vice-President Mike Pence's chief of staff, Marc Short, told reporters at the White House that Trump's "locked and loaded" was "a broad term that talks about the realities that" the U.S.is "safer and more secure domestically from energy independence".

The new violence has led to fears that further action on any side could rapidly escalate a confrontation that's been raging just below the surface in the wider Persian Gulf in recent months.

"Iranian officials, at any level, will never talk to American officials. this is part of their policy to put pressure on Iran. their policy of maximum pressure will fail", state television quoted Khamenei as saying.

Trump has stepped up sanctions against Iran since previous year when he withdrew from the nuclear pact between Iran and six world powers and reimposed sanctions that were lifted under the deal in return for Iran curbing its nuclear programme.

US stocks were down but only modestly. "All indications are that weapons used in both attacks came from Iran", coalition spokesman Turki al-Maliki told reporters in Riyadh, adding they were now probing "from where they were fired".

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