Published: Tue, June 25, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Trump Announces New Sanctions on Iran

Trump Announces New Sanctions on Iran

Trump told reporters the sanctions were in part a response to last week's downing of a USA drone by Iran, but would have happened anyway.

The downing of the USA drone came after a series of attacks on tankers in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, which Washington has blamed on Iran, exacerbated already-tense relations between the two countries.

It sits atop a vast network of tyranny and corruption that deprives the Iranian people of the freedom and opportunity they deserve, he said.

President Donald Trump has warned Iran that a war with the USA would be "obliteration like you've never seen before" after calling off a planned strike on the Persian Gulf nation late last week.

Now the Americans and Iranians appear even more entrenched - the hardest hitting sanctions ever will surely see the Iranians re-start their nuclear programme in earnest.

The attack is reported to have caused significant damage to Iran's military command and control systems and the administration warned industry officials on Saturday to be ready for an Iranian response.

The Strait of Hormuz is a vital shipping line allowing access to the Arabian Gulf and has been the centre of deteriorating relations with Iran since April.

He will later head to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates - another close US ally and partner.

The United States, Britain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates likewise urged "diplomatic solutions". The statement made no mention of the drone attack.

Saudi Arabia has been at war with the rebel Houthis in Yemen for more than four years.

He said Khamenei was ultimately responsible for what Mr Trump called "the hostile conduct of the regime" in the Middle East.

Before flying to Saudi Arabia and the UAE for talks, Mr Pompeo said the U.S. was prepared to negotiate with Iran without preconditions when the country is "ready to truly engage with us".

"You know, I'm really proud of President Trump for showing restraint", he said.

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Pence said Sunday "This is a president who's always going to count the cost". Trump ended a partial thaw in the countries' relationship past year when he unilaterally pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal despite Tehran being in full compliance.

Iran says it does not have a nuclear weapons program.

The US President pulled back from the brink of retaliatory military strikes on Iran last week, but is continuing his pressure campaign against the nation.

Following the shooting down of the drone, President Trump ordered air strikes on Iran, but backed down at the eleventh hour, saying that such an action would not be "proportionate".

Zarif said it is Trump's "B team" - an apparent reference to hawkish National Security Advisor John Bolton and others - that "despise diplomacy and thirst for war". "No one has granted them a hunting licence in the Middle East", Mr Bolton said during a visit to Israel.

When asked whether he believed he had the authority to strike Iran, Trump said "I do". Ravanchi said he agrees with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' call to de-escalate tensions in the Gulf region, but said that is up to the United States, not Iran.

However, there has been no independent confirmation of damage to Iranian systems.

On Thursday, however, the Pentagon launched a long-planned cyber attack, Yahoo News said, citing former intelligence officials.

In recent weeks, Iran has increased its cyber-attacks against USA targets, including government agencies and oil and gas companies according to cybersecurity companies CrowdStrike and FireEye, Time magazine reported.

"We welcome any reduction of tension, we do not want an increase in the tension and the problems after that", Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Seyyed Abbas Mousavi said.

Zarif also discussed the impact of sanctions during a speech in honor of the upcoming International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, which is on June 26.

"We'll be talking with them about how to make sure that we are all strategically aligned and how we can build out a global coalition", Pompeo said.

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