Iran says new US sanctions have closed path to diplomacy


Iran said on Tuesday that US decision to order sanctions on its supreme leader and other officials has permanently closed the path to diplomacy between Tehran and Washington.

In a tweet, spokesman of Foreign Ministry Abbas Mousavi said: “Imposing useless sanctions on Iran’s Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the commander of Iran’s diplomacy (Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif) is the permanent closure of the path of diplomacy.”

US president Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order to impose new sanctions against Iran’s Supreme Leader, Khamenei, and eight Revolutionary Guard commanders, after the downing of an unmanned US drone.

Khamenei is Iran’s utmost authority who has the last say on all state matters.

“Today’s action follows a series of aggressive behaviours by the Iranian regime in recent weeks including shooting down of US drones,” Trump announced from the White House Oval Office, calling the sanctions “hard-hitting”.

“Along with our existing sanctions authority we have additional sanctions to go after the Supreme Leader’s office and lock up literally billions of dollars more of assets,” US treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin said at a briefing. “Along with that action today we are also announcing specific actions targeting those responsible for recent activities”.

Washington said it would also impose sanctions this week on Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif, who negotiated the 2015 nuclear deal with the US and other major powers.

Hassan Rouhani, the country’s president, said the new sanctions were “outrageous and idiotic”. Speaking in a live television address on Tuesday, he added: “You sanction the foreign minister simultaneously with a request for talks?” The White House was “afflicted by mental retardation”, he said.

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