- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 18, 2019

President Trump said Wednesday he will tighten the economic screws on Iran, as the U.S. and Saudi Arabia coordinate a response to drone strikes on the kingdom’s oil fields.

“I have just instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to substantially increase Sanctions on the country of Iran!” Mr. Trump tweeted from California, where he is on a fundraising swing.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is meeting Wednesday with Saudi leaders to discuss the Saturday drone strikes that disrupted the global oil supply.

The Iran-backed Houthi movement in Yemen has claimed the attack, though Saudi officials say they’ll offer proof Wednesday that Iran directly blitzed its Aramco oil fields.

Some defense hawks in the U.S. want Mr. Trump to send a more forceful message.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, said Tehran might have interpreted Mr. Trump’s decision to call off a military strike in June as a sign of weakness.

Mr. Trump rejected that view, saying he is operating from a position of strength as the administration applies “maximum pressure” on Iran through sanctions.

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