U.S. to Sanction Iran's National Bank, Trump Says

President says military strike on Iran always a possibility following mounting accusations after an attack on Saudi oil facilities

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A man walks past the central bank of Iran in Tehran, Iran, August 1, 2019.
A man walks past the central bank of Iran in Tehran, Iran, August 1, 2019.Credit: Reuters

The United States has imposed sanctions on Iran's central bank, U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House on Friday, nearly a week after attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia that some U.S. officials have pinned on Tehran.

Trump did not give any other details about the sanctions.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, also speaking to reporters, said the bank was Tehran's last source of funds.

Asked about the possibility of a military response on Iran, Trump said the United States was always prepared and that a military strike was always a possibility.

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Iran has denied any involvement in the September 14 attack, which shook global oil markets and ratcheted up tensions between Washington and Tehran. On Friday, Saudi officials took media to inspect the affected facilities. Saudi Arabia also blames the attacks on Iran.

Trump, who spoke to reporters at the White House alongside visiting Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, has said he wants a peaceful solution to the conflict following the weekend oil attacks. His secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has called the attacks an "act of war."