U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said it is time to form a coalition of countries to address Iran’s “malign” activity.
“It is a time for a coalition of tame and thoughtful energy producing and energy consuming countries to come together and put a stop to Iran’s malign activity,” Perry told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” on Monday.
Perry’s comments follow a series of drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities that caused the largest disruption to the world oil supply in history.
Over the weekend, an oil processing facility at Abqaiq and the nearby Khurais oil field was attacked, knocking out 5.7 million barrels, or half of daily crude production. The attacks caused Brent crude futures and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures to surge.
Although it is not confirmed that Iran was responsible for the drone attack, the Saudi-led military coalition said on Monday that the attack on Saudi oil plants was carried out by Iranian weapons and did not originate from Yemen, according to preliminary findings.
President Donald Trump suggested Iran played a role in the attack, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for the drone strikes, saying in a tweet Saturday Iran has launched an “unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.” Perry’s comments to CNBC echoed a similar assumption about Iran’s involvement.
“Its time for us to be globally spending a message that Iran can not be allowed to act in the way they are acting. They are attacking oil supplies to try to disrupt the global economy,” said Perry.
“I think there will be a coalition effort, both our friends in the Middle East that understand having a crazy neighbor is a real problem,” he added.
futures, the international benchmark, rose 10.5% to $66.58 per barrel futures climbed 10% to $60.43 on Monday.
Following the attack, Trump authorized the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), the nation’s emergency oil reserve. Perry told said it’s too soon to say whether the U.S. will need to use its emergency crude reserves to offset the surge in oil prices.