GOP senator: Iran is behind attack on Saudi Arabia

Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoOvernight Energy & Environment — League of Conservation Voters — Climate summit chief says US needs to 'show progress' on environment Manchin, Barrasso announce bill to revegetate forests after devastating fires Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — EPA finalizing rule cutting HFCs MORE (R-Wyo.) said he thinks Iran was behind the attacks on the oil refineries in Saudi Arabia but believes sanctions are a more appropriate response than military action.

Barrasso, who is on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told CNN that he reviewed the classified briefing on the incident Tuesday morning and came to the conclusion that Iran was behind the attack. 

"I believe Iran is the source of the weapons, the missiles, the attacks on Saudi Arabia," he said.

When asked if confirmation of Iranian involvement would warrant U.S. military retaliation, the Republican senator said the country should instead focus on the sanctions.


"As of this point, no. I think we need to continue with the sanctions," he said. "They are biting. They are punishing. They're making a difference."

The senator believes the sanctions are affecting the country economically, pushing them to take actions like the attacks this weekend.

"I think what they've done with this attack is continue what they've done for a while of trying to interrupt the flow of oil around the world, driving up the prices so they can sell it," he said. "They need the money."

Barrasso said he thinks Saudi Arabia was caught "completely off guard" and needs to prepare for such attacks. 

President TrumpDonald TrumpGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump MORE has said it looks like Iran was behind the attacks on two oil refineries in Saudi Arabia but said he is awaiting confirmation.

The Foreign Relations Committee member added that he supports the president's attempts at diplomacy with the country. Iran's supreme leader canceled any potential talks with the U.S., reports said Tuesday morning.