Washington announces ‘hard-hitting’ new sanctions against Iran

On Monday, The United States unveiled a new round of economic sanctions against Iran, while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is visiting Saudi Arabia to discuss a “global coalition” against Tehran.

The new US sanctions will be particularly harsh on the Iranian regime’s top leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, preventing him from using American financial instruments .

“We will continue to put pressure on Tehran,” President Donald Trump said Monday from the White House.

At his side at the announcement, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the new sanctions would affect “billions” of US dollars in Iranian property.

Mr. Mnuchin added that the Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, would be personally targeted by sanctions later this week.

Any entity “offering material support” to the Iranian Supreme Leader’s office is also exposed to sanctions by the Americans.

President Trump announced last week that sanctions would be imposed as early as Monday in response to the attack on an American drone by the Iranian army last week .

Since June, Iran’s crude oil exports have fallen below 300,000 barrels a day because of US sanctions, according to data collected by Reuters.

The United States solicits their allies

Meanwhile earlier in the day, the US State Secretary, Mike Pompeo met Salman Saudi king and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to establish a global coalition against Iran, accused of being the largest state in the world sponsoring terrorism .

Mr. Pompeo then goes to the United Arab Emirates, another ally of the United States in the peninsula.

The destruction of an American drone by the Iranian army provoked the ire of Donald Trump and his national security advisor, John Bolton . Mr. Trump has also canceled Friday in extremis retaliatory strikes to prevent human deaths despite the advice of his entourage, according to US media.

Washington has reportedly launched a wave of cyberattacks against missile launch systems and an Iranian spy ring.

Tehran downplayed this offensive in a message from its Minister of Telecommunications posted on Twitter.

“We have been facing the cyberterrorism and unilateralism of the United States for a long time, but so far none of their attacks have been successful,” wrote Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi.

Tensions between the United States and Iran have risen dramatically since the withdrawal of the Americans from the Iranian nuclear deal signed in 2015 and the reinstatement of economic sanctions. Relations eventually became more severe after attacks – attributed by Washington to Tehran – against oil ships in the Gulf of Oman .

By the way, Donald Trump on Monday urged oil importing countries to protect their own ships .

“In China, 91% of oil imports pass through the Strait of Hormuz, 62% for Japan, and this is the same for many other countries, President Trump tweeted. “Why are we protecting these shipping routes for other countries for so long without any compensation?” he asked.

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