Donald Trump spoke to the media today at the White House where he met with Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa. As you can probably imagine, Iran came up.
Administration officials and a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen claim Iranian weapons were used in the Saturday strikes on Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure, and the world is on tenterhooks waiting on a possible military response from the kingdom, the US or both.
Trump has been coy on Monday. “They say that they had nothing to do with the attack on Saudi Arabia. We’ll see?”, he said (and asked), on Twitter. His tone came across as more measured than it was on Sunday evening, when the US president warned the military is “locked and loaded”.
Asked if he had any proof that Iran was directly responsible for the attacks (as opposed to indirectly, via the country’s proxy in Yemen), Trump said “it’s certainly looking that way at this moment”.
“We’re having some very strong studies done”, Trump said, which is highly amusing considering that, during an interview with Fox News on Sunday, Kellyanne Conway declared that “this is why it’s so important to have a president who [doesn’t] sit around and say ‘Let’s study it”.
“We’ll let you know”, Trump continued, adding that “I don’t want to have war with anybody”.
That’s nice to know, especially considering this is a president who ran on extricating the US from costly foreign imbroglios and just a week ago today, fired John Bolton for being too excited about bombing Iran.
Notably (given Trump’s company at 1600 Penn.), the Saudis shuttered an oil pipeline to Bahrain just after Saturday’s attacks.
The president also said, among other things, that diplomacy with Iran isn’t exhausted and, hilariously, that oil prices haven’t risen that much.
Brent surged by the most ever when trading got going on Monday and ended up more than 14%. Brent futures volumes touched a record, blowing through a previous mark set on November 30, 2016, the day OPEC agreed to cut output for the first time in eight years.