USA slaps 'hard hitting' sanctions on Iran's supreme leader Khamenei

Lloyd Doyle
June 24, 2019

US President Donald Trump signed an order on Monday that targets Iran's supreme leader and associates with additional financial sanctions.

The downing of the drone was nearly a tipping point into open conflict following longstanding hostile relations between Iran and the US.

Mr Trump last week abruptly canceled planned air strikes against Iran following the incident.

"Sanctions imposed through the executive order that I'm about to sign 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".

Mr Mnuchin says Washington has not consulted with allies on the sanctions, which are just the latest in a series to target Iran since the USA unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal in May past year.

A video released by US Central Command on 13 June reportedly showed an Iranian navy patrol boat removing an unexploded mine from the hull on one of the ships attacked in the Gulf of Oman.

The rest of the country's budget comes from taxes and non-oil exports, among them oil-based petrochemical products that provide up to 50 percent of Iran's $45 billion in non-oil export.

Iran's naval commander has warned that Iranian forces will not hesitate to act again and shoot down more United States surveillance drones that allegedly violate Iranian airspace. The U.S. said the drone was flying over global waters.

Fox News has learned Iran shut off some of its military radar sites around the time the US was poised to launch retaliatory strikes.

The drone shoot-down was only the latest flare-up in the region tied to Iran. Gen. Hossein Salami, a commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, said hours after the shootdown, according to the semiofficial Tasnim news agency.

Iran has denied working on nuclear weapons and signed an agreement in 2015 with the United States, Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany to allay those concerns by limiting its nuclear activity in exchange for sanctions relief.

The U.S. blamed Iran for attacks on two oil tankers this month near the strait, denouncing what it called a campaign of "escalating tensions" in a region crucial to global energy supplies.

While Trump at first said that new sanctions come in response to the USA drone's downing and "the hostile conduct of the regime", he later noted that these sanctions would be imposed regardless of that incident.

There financial assets held in the U.S. or United States 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.

The United States accuses Iran of encouraging allies in Yemen to attack Saudi targets.

Tensions have been escalating since Trump a year ago withdrew the US from a global nuclear deal with Iran and re-imposed economic sanctions on Iran. "As President Trump said on Friday our military is rebuilt, new and ready to go", Bolton said during an appearance with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, himself a longtime and outspoken Iran critic.

USA military cyber forces on Thursday launched a strike against Iranian military computer systems, according to US officials.

French President Emmanuel Macron said he would use a meeting with Trump at the G20 summit in Japan to urge "a constructive solution with the aim of ensuring collective regional security".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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