Iran Says US Action on Ayatollah ‘Idiotic’, India Urges Restraint
Iran President Rouhani said US sanctions targeting Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and others were ‘outrageous and idiotic’.
Iran President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday, 25 June, mocked US President Donald Trump, saying that the White House is "affected by mental retardation."
Rouhani further said that the new US sanctions targeting the Islamic Republic's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and others are "outrageous and idiotic," The Associated Press reported.
This comes after Trump, on Monday, signed an executive order which, he said, will impose “hard-hitting” sanctions on Iran and deny Ayatollah and other officials access to financial instruments within US jurisdiction.
India, meanwhile, expressed concern over the escalating tensions between Iran and the US, urging the two countries to de-escalate. China also, later in the day, called for calm amid rising tensions.
Trump's move to impose a fresh set of sanctions on Iran's supreme leader and a string of military commanders comes days after Tehran said it shot down an American drone in the region on Thursday, 20 June.
Trump called off a planned retaliatory military strike the next day, saying the response would not have been "proportionate."
“We do not seek conflict with Iran or any other country,” Trump said in a brief interaction with reporters at his Oval Office in Washington.
‘Sanctions Would’ve Happened Anyway’
When asked if his executive order was in response to the Iranian attack on US drone, Trump replied "you could probably add that into this" but then said, "this was something that was going to happen anyway."
He signed the order in presence of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
“I think a lot of restraint has been shown by us but that doesn’t mean we’re going to show it in the future.”Donald Trump, US President
"We will continue to increase pressure on Tehran. Never can Iran have a nuclear weapon," he added.
Iran to Be Denied Access to Financial Resources in US
The President's Order will deny Iran's leadership access to financial resources and authorise the targeting of persons appointed to certain official or other positions by the Supreme Leader or the Supreme Leader's Office.
Moreover, any foreign financial institution that knowingly facilitates a significant financial transaction for entities designated under this Executive Order could be cut off from the US financial system.
“This action was taken as part of the administration’s maximum pressure campaign against the Iranian regime which has engaged in 40 years of terror and aggression against the United States and our allies. Most recently, it targeted a US unmanned aircraft and executed attacks on international shipping.”Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State
Taking a dig at Iran’s leader, Pompeo said, “The Supreme Leader's Office has enriched itself at the expense of the Iranian people. It sits atop a vast network of tyranny and corruption that deprives the Iranian people of the freedom and opportunity they deserve. Today's action denies Iran's leadership the financial resources to spread terror and oppress the Iranian people. ”
"The only path forward is for Iran to negotiate a comprehensive deal that addresses the full range of its destabilising behaviours. Until it does, our campaign of diplomatic isolation and maximum economic pressure will continue. When the Iranian regime decides to forgo violence and meet our diplomacy with diplomacy, it knows how to reach us," Pompeo said.
Action Against 8 Commanders of Navy, Aerospace, IRGC Forces
Giving details of fresh sanctions, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin told the reporters at a White House news conference that it includes actions against eight senior commanders of Navy, Aerospace and Ground Forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
“The United States is targeting those responsible for effectuating the Iranian regime's destructive influence in the Middle East. IRGC commanders are responsible for the Iranian regime's provocative attacks orchestrated in internationally recognised waters and airspace, as well as Iran's malign activities in Syria.
(With inputs from AP, AFP and PTI)
(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)
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