Trump says he told Mnuchin to 'substantially increase' sanctions on Iran

President Donald Trump on Wednesday pledged to "substantially increase" sanctions on Iran as tensions in the Middle East continue to rise following an attack on a Saudi oil field.

"I have just instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to substantially increase Sanctions on the country of Iran!" Trump tweeted.

Trump's tweet came as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was headed to Saudi Arabia to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss the recent attack on the kingdom's oil facilities, an action American officials believe originated from Iranian territory.

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Trump pulls US from Iran nuclear deal
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Trump pulls US from Iran nuclear deal
US President Donald Trump signs a document reinstating sanctions against Iran after announcing the US withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear deal, in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House in Washington, DC, on May 8, 2018. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump announces his intention to withdraw from the JCPOA Iran nuclear agreement during a statement in the Diplomatic Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
US President Donald Trump signs a document reinstating sanctions against Iran after announcing the US withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear deal, in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House in Washington, DC, on May 8, 2018. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump announces his intention to withdraw from the JCPOA Iran nuclear agreement during a statement in the Diplomatic Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump reacts to a question from the media after announcing his intention to withdraw from the JCPOA Iran nuclear agreement during a statement in the Diplomatic Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump announces his intent to withdraw from the JCPOA Iran nuclear agreement in the Diplomatic Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 08: U.S. President Donald Trump holds up a memorandum that re-instates sanctions on Iran after he announced his decision to withdraw the United States from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in the Diplomatic Room at the White House May 8, 2018 in Washington, DC. After two and a half years of negotiations, Iran agreed in 2015 to end its nuclear program in exchange for Western countries, including the United States, lifting decades of economic sanctions. Since then international inspectors have not found any violations of the terms by Iran. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump announces his decision on the Iran nuclear deal in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House in Washington, DC, on May 8, 2018. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
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NBC News reported Tuesday that the administration was weighing a range of options to retaliate against Iran, including a cyberattack or physical strikes, U.S. officials briefed on recent deliberations said. Military leaders presented Trump with multiple possible actions in a national security meeting Monday, but Trump asked for additional choices, people briefed on that meeting said.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Saudi Arabia should see the attack on its oil facilities as a warning to end the war in Yemen, while insisting the attack came from Yemeni forces.

The president tweeted over the weekend that the U.S. was "locked and loaded" in preparation for some sort of retaliatory action in response to the oil field attack.

"Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked," he tweeted Sunday. 'There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!

Speaking with reporters in the Oval Office on Monday, however, Trump said he doesn't "want war with anybody."

"I'm somebody that would like not to have war," he added, saying that the U.S. has "to sit down with the Saudis and work something out."

The president has ratcheted up economic sanctions on Iran after withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal last year. Previous sanctions have targeted Iranian oil, its automotive and civil aviation industries and the trade of gold and other metals.

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