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A tanker at the oil terminal of Fujairah, United Arab Emirates. Photo: Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images

Saudi Arabia said Monday 2 of its oil tankers sustained "significant damage" in sabotage attacks near the coast of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates, as 1 was on its way to pick up oil for the U.S.

Why it matters: The U.S. had warned that "Iran or its proxies" could target vessels in the region. The UAE said Sunday 4 commercial vessels were targeted by "sabotage operations" near its territorial waters, per Reuters. The U.S. says it's deploying forces including an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf to counter Iranian threats.

The big picture: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo canceled the Moscow leg of his Russia trip to instead hold talks in Brussels with European officials on Iran Monday, Reuters reported, citing a State Department official. He's due to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the Black Sea resort of Sochi Tuesday, according to Reuters.

What he's saying: Pompeo told CNBC in an interview broadcast Monday, "In the event that Iran decided to come after an American interest — whether that be in Iraq or Afghanistan or Yemen or any place in the Middle East — we are prepared to respond in an appropriate way."

The other side: An Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander said a U.S. military presence in the Gulf used to be a serious threat, but now "it is a target and the threats have switched to opportunities," the Iranian Students' News Agency reported. Iran’s foreign ministry warned against "any conspiracy orchestrated by ill-wishers" over the sabotaged ships.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations before leaving office

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump plans to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations on his final full day in office Tuesday, sources familiar with the matter told Axios.

Why it matters: This is a continuation of the president's controversial December spree that saw full pardons granted to more than two dozen people — including former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, longtime associate Roger Stone and Charles Kushner, the father of Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

  • The pardons set to be issued before Trump exits the White House will be a mix of criminal justice ones and pardons for people connected to the president, the sources said.
  • CNN first reported this news.

Go deeper: Convicts turn to D.C. fixers for Trump pardons

Schumer's m(aj)ority checklist

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Capitalizing on the Georgia runoffs, achieving a 50-50 Senate and launching an impeachment trial are weighty to-dos for getting Joe Biden's administration up and running on Day One.

What to watch: A blend of ceremonies, hearings and legal timelines will come into play on Tuesday and Wednesday so Chuck Schumer can actually claim the Senate majority and propel the new president's agenda.

The dark new reality in Congress

National Guard troops keep watch at security fencing. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

This is how bad things are for elected officials and others working in a post-insurrection Congress:

  • Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) said she had a panic attack while grocery shopping back home.
  • Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said police may also have to be at his constituent meetings.
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) told a podcaster he brought a gun to his office on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 because he anticipated trouble with the proceedings that day.