Trump blames Iran for oil tanker attacks in Middle East

President Trump made it clear on Friday that he believes Iran is responsible for attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday.

Speaking by phone to Fox & Friends, Trump said that his stance is based on intelligence from a video of the incident.

"Well Iran did do it, and you know they did it because you saw the boat. I guess one of the mines didn't explode and it's probably got essentially Iran written all over it."

- President Donald Trump, Fox & Friends ​​​​​​

The U.S. obtained a video that appears to show Iranian forces removing an unexploded mine from one of the oil tankers, as American military officials continue to monitor the fluid situation.

U.S. and Brent crude prices were volatile on Friday, moving higher amid tensions. Despite the surge in prices, the broader yearly outlook for oil remains sluggish in part due to fears trade disputes would also dent global demand.

The president also said that part of the fractured relationship with the country is a result of the Iran nuclear deal, which was brokered by President Barack Obama.

"We're being very tough on sanctions," Trump said. "When I came into office they were in absolute terror. They were all over the place. They were in Yemen, they were in Syria - we have 14 different sites of conflict - they were in charge of every single place."

He warned that the Iran Nuclear Deal could have meant "in six to seven years, they'd be able to legally start making nuclear weapons. We're not going to have it."


"I'm not looking to hurt that country, but they can't have a nuclear weapon," he said. "It's very simple."

But the reality is the tough U.S. position against Iran is hurting the country's economy. As of early 2019, Iran's economy was spiraling backward, contracting at a rate of 6 percent on top of a nearly 4 percent pullback in 2018, according to data tracked by the International Monetary Fund. By comparison, the U.S. economy grew at a rate of 3.1 percent in the first quarter of the year, according to the Commerce Department.

Kevin Hassett, the outgoing head of the Council of Economic Advisors, said the U.S. can maintain that growth rate this year.