By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - Invading Iran would be a "very easy decision," U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday as regional tensions remain high after attacks on key Saudi oil facilities.
“We are by far the strongest military in the world," Trump told reporters at the White House where he was speaking at a joint news conference with Australian Premier Scott Morrison. "Going into Iran would be a very easy decision, as I said before. It would be very easy, the easiest thing."
The president, said, however, he has not committed U.S. forces to the mission because he is "showing great restraint."
"A lot of people respect it. Some don’t. Some people say ‘oh, you should go in immediately.’ And other people are so thrilled at what I am doing. And I don’t do it for anybody. I do it for what’s good for the United States, what’s good for our allies, and it’s working out really very well,” he said.
The comments follow the U.S. announcement earlier Friday that it is sanctioning Iran's central bank as well as its sovereign wealth fund in retaliation for strikes last weekend on the Kingdom that crippled its output.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the sanctions will result in "no more funds going to" the Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, and will sever Iran's ability to gain access to international funds.
"We've now cut off all sources of funds to Iran," he said.
Trump maintained he thinks sanctions will work to bring Iran back to the negotiating table and curtail its regional activities the U.S. says are malign, but he added “the military would work, but that’s a very severe form of winning.”
Yemen's Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for the attacks on Saudi Aramco sites, but the U.S. has increasingly been pointing the finger at Tehran.