President Trump imposed new sanctions against Iran Monday targeting the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and announced forthcoming sanctions on Iran’s top diplomat, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani derided the announcement, saying, “You sanction the foreign minister simultaneously with a request for talks?” while Zarif tweeted: “@realDonaldTrump is 100% right that the US military has no business in the Persian Gulf. Removal of its forces is fully in line with interests of US and the world. But it’s now clear that the #B_Team is not concerned with US interests—they despise diplomacy, and thirst for war.” The “B Team” is thought to refer to John Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The sanctions came after an aborted U.S. attack on Iranian targets last week, following the downing of a U.S. Navy surveillance drone by Iran earlier this month, which the U.S. says happened over international waters, while Iran maintains the vessel had entered their territory. Iranian officials have since released imagery which they say confirms this. At a top-level meeting in Jerusalem between the US, Israel and Russia, a top Russian official contradicted the U.S. narrative, saying it had in fact entered Iranian territory. Iran also said Monday it had blocked cyberattacks by the United States.
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has traveled to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in an attempt to build what the Trump administration is describing as a “global coalition” against Iran.
The Iranian ambassador to the United Nations told reporters that he had been shut out of a U.S.-led closed-door meeting of the U.N. Security Council. This is Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi responding to the new sanctions.
Majid Takht Ravanchi: “The U.S. decision today to impose more sanctions against Iran is yet another indication of continued U.S. hostility against the Iranian people and their leaders and that the U.S. has no respect for international law and order, as well as the views of the overwhelming majority of the international community. To ease sanctions in the broader Persian Gulf region, the U.S. must stop its military adventurism.”