Saudi Arabia on Friday took media on a tour of oil facilities damaged by attacks that Washington and Riyadh blame on Iran, showing melted pipes and burnt equipment, as Tehran vowed wide retaliation if heightened tensions boil over into hostilities.
The kingdom sees the Sept. 14 strikes on its Khurais and Abqaiq facilities — the worst attack on Gulf oil infrastructure since Iraq’s Saddam Hussein torched Kuwaiti oilfields in 1991 — as a test of global will to preserve international order.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday the United States was imposing sanctions on Iran’s central bank over the attack. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the bank was Tehran’s last source of funds.
Asked about the possibility of a military response on Iran, Trump said the United States was always prepared and that a military strike was always a possibility.
Iran denies involvement in the attack, which initially halved oil output from Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest petroleum exporter. Responsibility was claimed by Yemen’s Houthi movement, an Iran-aligned group fighting a Saudi-led alliance in Yemen’s four-year-old conflict.