U.S President Donald Trump imposed new sanctions on Iran as punishment for shooting down a US surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz.
Trump signed an executive order to deny supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, his office, and eight Revolutionary Guard commanders access to financial resources.
Later this week, similar sanctions will be imposed on Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi accused the American government of “destroying the established international mechanisms for maintaining world peace and security”.
The U.S President said the new sanctions were imposed amidst escalating tensions between the two countries. He justified the sanctions as the proper response to Iran’s increasingly provocative action.
Trump also warned that his patience may be at a tipping point. He issued a vague threat to end U.S. protection for international shipping in the vital Strait of Hormuz, off Iran.
Mr. Mousavi posted the following message on Twitter:
“Imposing useless sanctions on Iran’s supreme leader and the commander of Iran’s diplomacy is the permanent closure of the path of diplomacy
“Trump’s desperate administration is destroying the established international mechanisms for maintaining world peace and security”.
The White House believed the sanctions were long overdue:
“The President has held the door open to real negotiations to completely and verifiably eliminate Iran’s nuclear weapons program, its ballistic missile delivery systems, its support for international terrorism and other malign behavior worldwide.
“All that Iran needs to do is to walk through that open door.”
Iran’s UN ambassador, Majid Takht Ravanchi responded with a warning saying that the situation in the Persian Gulf was becoming “dangerous” and that negotiations with the U.S will be moot in the face of intensified sanctions and intimidation.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani called the new sanctions “outrageous and idiotic.”
“The White House actions mean it is mentally retarded,” he added. “You sanction the foreign minister simultaneously with a request for talks?”
Meanwhile, U.S National Security Adviser John Bolton still insists that Washington will continue negotiations with Tehran.