President Donald Trump fuelled the speculations when he said on Sunday that the United States was “locked and loaded” for a potential response to the attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Iran was to blame.
Pompeo told reporters that evidence from the attack, which hit the world’s biggest oil-processing facility, indicated Iran was behind it, instead of the Yemeni Houthi group that had claimed responsibility.
Pompeo also said there was no evidence the attack had come came from Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition has been battling the Houthis for over four years in a conflict widely seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Shi’ite Muslim rival Iran.
On Monday, Pompeo called Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.
Mahdi’s office did not specify what was discussed. Iraq denied on Sunday that its territory had been used to carry out attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia.
On Sunday, Iran denied having a hand in the drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities.
But it warned however that it has always been prepared for a full-fledged war as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday blamed the country for Saturday’s drone attacks on Saudi Aramco’s oil fields.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps Aerospace Force Chief Amirali Hajizadeh said in a statement on Sunday: “Everybody should know that all American bases and their aircraft carriers, at a distance of up to 2,000 kilometres around Iran, are within the range of our missiles.”
According to Hajizadeh, the Iranian military are ready to target two US bases and one carrier in the event of armed conflict.
“Al-Udeid base in Qatar, az-Zafra base in the UAE and a US vessel in the Gulf of Oman would be targeted if Washington took military action,” the commander said.