Trump Has a Plan to Punish Iran for Saudi Oil Strike

Fred Lucas

President Donald Trump says he will announce new actions by Friday regarding Iran’s suspected role in attacking oil fields in Saudi Arabia. 

“We’ll be adding some very significant sanctions onto Iran,” Trump told reporters Wednesday in San Diego. “We’ll be announcing it over the next 48 hours.”

Trump said he has “many options” and that he hopes to avoid the “ultimate option” of going to war with Iran. 

“There’s the ultimate option and there are options that are a lot less than that,” he said. 

Still, Trump said the crisis shouldn’t prevent Iranian President Hassan Rouhani from attending the United Nations General Assembly session when it convenes in New York next week. 

“I would let them come,” Trump said. “I’ve always felt the United Nations is very important. … I don’t think it’s ever lived up to the potential it has.”

The president conducted an informal press conference on the tarmac after Air Force One landed while he was on his way to visit portions of newly constructed border wall. He stood with his new national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, named earlier in the day to replace John Bolton, ousted Sept. 10. 

O’Brien has served since spring 2018 as the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs. He helped secure the release of Christian pastor Andrew Brunson from a Turkish prison. Earlier this year, O’Brien took the lead in achieving the release of American rapper A$AP Rocky from a jail in Sweden. 

Trump said O’Brien has “brought a lot of people home.”

“He’s worked with me for quite a while now on hostages, and we’ve got a tremendous track record with respect to hostages,” Trump said. 

O’Brien, a lawyer, told reporters he expects continued foreign policy success with the Trump administration, and praised the president’s foreign policy team. 

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