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Trump Imposes “Hard-Hitting Sanctions” On Iran’s Supreme Leader

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The United States has levied new sanctions on Iran today in an effort to further squeeze the regime into compliance over the controversial nuclear deal and stave off additional hostilities from the Middle Eastern nation. Today’s sanctions target the Ayatollah Khamenei directly.

“Today’s action follows a series of aggressive behaviors by the Iranian regime in recent weeks, including shooting down of US drones,” US President Donald Trump told reporters in a video carried by Reuters, on Monday afternoon, adding that they have done “many other things,” referencing the oil tanker attacks off the coast of Oman.

The Supreme Leader of Iran is one who ultimately is responsible for the hostile conduct of the regime,” the President explained, adding that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s office “oversees the regime’s most brutal instruments, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp.”

Today’s new sanctions “will deny the Supreme Leader and the Supreme Leader’s office and those most closely affiliated with him and the office, access to key financial resources and support,” the President said, adding that America does not seek conflict with Iran, and that it looks forward to the day when the sanctions can finally be lifted and Iran could become a peaceful nation. President Trump said that this could be as early as tomorrow or could take years, but followed that comment up with this one: “We cannot ever let Iran have a nuclear weapon.”

 After he signed today’s new sanctions, the President was asked whether it was his goal to sign a new deal with Iran.  “We would love to be able to negotiate a new deal if they want to. If they don’t want to, that’s fine too.”

The sanctions have reportedly brought Iran’s oil exports down to below 500,000 barrels per day from a high of 2.5 million barrels per day, although Iran today said that those reported export figures were incorrect, without offering new figures. Iran has maintained that its oil exports have been largely unaffected despite US pressure.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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