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President Trump Authorizes New Sanctions on Iran in Executive Order

June 25, 2019 (EIRNS)—President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order yesterday imposing a new set of sanctions on Iran, including on the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and on his office, and on the leadership of the IRGC (which the U.S. has already declared a foreign terrorist organization). “Today’s action follows a series of aggressive behaviors by the Iranian regime in recent weeks, including shooting down of U.S. drones,” Trump said. He said Khamenei “is one who ultimately is responsible for the hostile conduct of the regime” and that the sanctions “will deny the Supreme Leader and the Supreme Leader’s Office, and those closely affiliated with him and the office, access to key financial resources and support.”

Trump called the new sanctions “a strong and appropriate” response to alleged Iranian provocations and vowed that the U.S. will continue to increase the pressure on Iran “until the regime abandons its dangerous activities ... including the pursuit of nuclear weapons,” as well as its ballistic missile development and its support of groups which the U.S. and Israel designate as terrorist.

Trump claimed that, under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), “within a very short number of years, they [Iran] would be able to make nuclear weapons. And that’s unacceptable. Never can Iran have a nuclear weapon.” And also, “we want the stoppage immediately of their sponsoring of terrorism.”

As for his willingness to negotiate a new deal with Iran, Trump said: “We would love to be able to negotiate a deal if they want to. If they don’t want to, that’s fine too. But we would love to be able to. And, frankly, they might as well do it soon.”

In addition to what Trump announced on Khamenei, the U.S. Treasury Department announced that the U.S. is also sanctioning eight senior commanders of the IRGC, as well as Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

In Moscow, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov denounced the new sanctions and indicated that Russia would work against them. “This is a pure dictate, an attempt to impose the conditions Washington deems right on others,” he stressed. “This is unacceptable for us, we will continue to counter this policy, particularly in cooperation with other forces in the international community.”

The Iranian response has been to angrily ridicule the sanctions. The measures that the U.S. is taking these days reveal its “definite defeat,” President Hassan Rouhani said in Tehran, today, reported Tasnim. He further stated that the American decision-makers are suffering frustration and great confusion after their plots against Iran ended in failure. He said imposing sanctions against the highest-ranking political, religious, social and spiritual official of Iran who is also leader of the world’s Shi’ite Muslims reveals that the American government lacks any wisdom or prudence. Unlike the other world leaders who possess billions of dollars in foreign bank accounts, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution has no assets that could be subject to sanctions, Rouhani pointed out.

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