"Would I do that?"
Some have drawn conclusions between the targetting of the Saudi ships and the escalating tensions between the United States and Iran in the Gulf.
Tensions mounted last week when Iranian President Hassan Rouhani gave European nations and China 60 days to come up with a plan to shield his country from sanctions imposed by Trump after the U.S. withdrew. But it demonstrated the raised risks for shippers in a region vital to global energy supplies as tensions are increasing between the US and Iran over its unraveling nuclear deal with world powers.
The U.S. Energy Department later said it was "monitoring the oil markets, and is confident they remain well-supplied". The U.S. knows that war won't benefit it and the only option for the Iranian people is resistance, Khamenei said at a meeting with senior officials, Tasnim reported.
The US aircraft carrier USS Abraham Carrier has been deployed to the Persian Gulf amid rising tensions with Iran.
This risk, she says, is heightened by the possibility that militant groups aligned with Iran, but not directly controlled by the government, might stage an attack that leads to a USA response.
Saudi Arabia said armed drones had struck two oil pumping stations in the kingdom on Tuesday in what it called a "cowardly" act of terrorism two days after Saudi oil tankers were sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) disputed the statement, saying forces are on a "high level of alert".
In an assessment he prepared shortly before the current crisis began, he said Tehran seeks to exact a cost against the United States following a year in which it relied on "strategic patience" in the hopes of receiving compensation from the European countries after American sanctions were imposed.
In a statement carried by the state-run Saudi news agency, the kingdom's energy minister said the attack unfolded early Tuesday morning and targeted the oil facilities of state-owned oil giant Aramco.
Tensions have risen since Trump withdrew America from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, and restored US sanctions that have pushed Iran's economy into crisis.
Saudi Arabia built its pipeline in the 1980s amid fears that the Iran-Iraq war would cut off shipping traffic through the Strait of Hormuz.
Such drones remain hard to shoot down with either light or heavy weapons.
Iran's Revolutionary Guards threatened last month to close the chokepoint if Tehran was barred from using it.
Over the weekend, four commercial ships anchored near the United Arab Emirates were damaged in what USA military investigators believe may have been attacks carried out by Iran or its proxies, The Associated Press reported. Iran has denied all such claims. To what end? Is this created to show the USA that Iran is unafraid of the sanctions and set the stage to new nuclear negotiations?