Trump imposes new sanctions on Iran, targets supreme leader

John Bolton and Benjamin Netanyahu at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on Sunday

John Bolton and Benjamin Netanyahu at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on Sunday

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the US will blacklist Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and block "billions" more in Iranian assets as part of expanded sanctions later this week.

President Donald Trump told NBC News on Sunday that he did not send a message to Tehran warning Iran of a USA attack, which he later called off.

A complication is the fact that Saudi Arabia has led OPEC countries in cutting oil production, and the Saudis appear to be holding fast, despite the fact that two of the tankers that were attacked were Saudi.

In recent weeks, six oil tankers have been attacked in the Gulf of Oman, which the USA and its Gulf allies blame on Iran.

His remarks come a few days after he called off military strikes against Iranian targets amid increased tensions between Washington and Tehran. Trump said he backed away from planned strikes after learning that 150 people would be killed but that military action remained an option.

Still, given what's already been done, the companies and officials that are left to be sanctioned would be mostly symbolic - with little impact that "would risk Iran escalating in retaliation", Harrell said.

"We want them to be more desperate", McCaul told "Face the Nation" Sunday.

Pres. Trump says he will sign "an executive order imposing hard-hitting sanctions on the supreme leader of Iran and the office of the supreme leader of Iran".

The US has alleged Ayatollah Khamenei has vast wealth which helps funds the IRCG.

Woman, 3 children found dead near Texas border
The names of the four have not been released and authorities are working to determine their country of origin. Authorities believe they may have been dead for days before being discovered.

It comes as USA secretary of state Mike Pompeo visits Saudi Arabia in a bid to ease mounting tensions between Washington and Tehran.

Why is the USA imposing sanctions now? Iran has decried the USA sanctions, which essentially bar Iran from selling its oil internationally, as "economic terrorism".

In a pair of tweets, Trump said USA aims regarding Iran boil down to "No Nuclear Weapons and No Further Sponsoring of Terror".

Zarif called the attack a courageous technical feat in defense of Iran's sovereignty. Tehran has denied all allegations.

Washington has repeatedly imposed sanctions on Tehran since past year, when the United States withdrew from the 2015 deal to curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for easing of sanctions.

There financial assets held in the United States or U.S. territories will be frozen and foreign financial institutions doing business with them will be cut off from the USA financial system, the treasury department said.

"And that doesn't mean we're going to show it in the future".

The sanctions - particularly those imposed on the energy, shipping and financial sectors - caused foreign investment to dry up and hit oil exports. "We know what they've done", the official told reporters, adding that the deterrents would include cameras, binoculars and ships.

The rising tensions over recent events, as well as concerns over Iran's nuclear programmes, saw Brent prices rise 5% last week, its first weekly gain in five weeks. But he added that he was open to quickly reaching a deal with Iran that he said would bolster the country's flagging economy.

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