Wednesday 18 September 2019 2:13 pm

Trump authorises new sanctions on Iran

US President Donald Trump has said that he will ramp up sanctions against Iran after alleging the country was behind an attack on Saudi Arabian oil refineries.

“I have just instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to substantially increase Sanctions on the country of Iran!” the President tweeted.

Read more: Iranian leader says Saudi attacks were ‘warning’ from Yemenis

On Saturday a series of drone attacks hit several Saudi refineries, knocking out half of the country’s production capacity. Oil prices spiked as much as 20 per cent on the news.

Both the US and Saudi Arabia has blamed Tehran for the attack after tensions ratcheted up in the region.

Iran and Saudi Arabia face off across the Persian Gulf, through which millions of barrels of oil are transported every day.

Saudi Arabia has promised it will present evidence that Iran was to blame to the world’s media later today.

Iran denies the claim, pointing to Yemeni Houthi fighters, who have said they are behind the attack.

Today the International Energy Agency said that oil markets are well supplied “for now” and there are “ample stocks available”. Reserves held by IEA members are enough to feed all global demand for 15 days.

Its members include the UK and US as well as a several other European, North American and Asian countries.

Read more: Oil prices plunge as Saudi production could come back online sooner than expected

“Recent events are a reminder that oil security cannot be taken for granted, even at times when markets are well supplied, and that energy security remains an indispensable pillar of the global economy,” said Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director.

The price of Brent crude, the international oil standard has dropped 1.4 per cent today.