Saudi Arabia Joins U.S.-Led Coalition to Protect Oil Shipping

Map showing Saudi Arabia's major oil infrastructure

This announcement was made after several USA officials, including President Trump himself, have pointed fingers at Iran as being directly behind the drone attacks on the facilities of the state-owned Saudi oil company, Saudi Aramco.

Relations between the USA and Iran have steadily deteriorated after Trump's abrupt decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal a year ago and re-impose sanctions on its oil exports.

President Trump reportedly is considering a retaliatory strike against Iran, along with other options, following a weekend attack on oil fields and processing facilities in Saudi Arabia.

The weekend attacks on the oil field, conducted via drone, caused oil prices to surge on Monday and raised tensions in the Middle East.

"Secondly, the attack was launched from the north", al-Malki said, "and was unquestionably sponsored by Iran". If so, such missiles are "not difficult" to operate and the Houthi forces didn't need any help from Iranian specialists to carry out the attack on their own, the military expert said.

The White House and the Treasury Department did not immediately respond to requests to comment. He played surveillance video he said showed a drone coming in from the north.

Donald Trump tweeted on Wednesday that he instructed the Treasury Secretary to "substantially increase" sanctions on Iran. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was to travel to NY on Friday, with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani following on Monday.

"The Yemeni nation was not the source of the conflict, but it was Saudi Arabia, the UAE, the Americans", he said, according to Iranian media.

United Nations officials monitoring sanctions on Iran and Yemen were also heading to Saudi Arabia to investigate.

The attack has called into question the security of global oil stockpiles and in particular those held by Saudi Arabia the world's biggest exporter of black gold

While the Saudis scramble to restore oil supply as quickly as possible and continue to ensure buyers that they would get all the volumes they had asked for, the Kingdom has chose to be officially part of the International Maritime Security Construct.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman receiving US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Iran also does not offer publicly searchable databases of its weapons and their sizes for comparison, he said.

The U.S. blames Iran for the apparent limpet mine explosions on four vessels in May and another two in June sailing in the Gulf of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz, something Iran denies being behind. On Wednesday, Iranian state media reported that Rouhani and his delegation were having trouble obtaining USA visas. The U.N. meeting had been considered as an opportunity for direct talks between Rouhani and Trump.

Trump said "if it was up to me I'd let them come". "I think it's got tremendous potential".

"Frogmen, drones, third-party proxies and cyberattack are all capabilities Iran can use to turn up the heat", Hultquist said.

At the same cabinet meeting, Iran's defense minister, Brig.

During a phone call, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed with Trump that there must be "a united diplomatic response from global partners" to the weekend attack, according to Johnson's office. "Learn the lesson from the warning", he said, portraying the Houthis as responsible for the drone strikes.

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