Sep 15, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Trump threatens Iran: "Locked and loaded"

President Trump tweeted Sunday evening — after oil prices soared following attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure — that "there is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification."

Between the lines: Trump's statement was an implicit threat to Iran, based on a tweet hours earlier from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who said "Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply."

What he's saying: Moments later, Trump followed his comments up by tweeting, "The Fake News is saying that I am willing to meet with Iran, "No Conditions." That is an incorrect statement (as usual!)."

Flashback: In June, the president told NBC's "Meet The Press that he wanted to talk with Iran with "no preconditions."

  • A transcript posted to the State Department's website last week shows Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed on "Fox News Sunday" of the possibility of Trump meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. "He has said he’d meet with him with no preconditions," Pompeo said.
  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that Trump "has said he would sit down with Rouhani with no conditions," CNN reports.

The other side: Iran denied earlier Sunday U.S. accusations that it was behind the drone attacks, which targeted the world's largest oil processing facility at Abqaiq and a major oil field at Khurais in Saudi Arabia the previous day.

  • Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted that "blaming Iran won't end the disaster" in Yemen and claimed the Trump administration's "maximum pressure" campaign that targeted Iran with sanctions had failed, accusing Pompeo of turning to turning to "max deceit" with his oil attacks accusation.
"Blaming Iran won't end disaster. Accepting our April '15 proposal to end war & begin talks may."
— Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif
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