Trump Says he Has Ordered Substantial Increase of Iran Sanctions

Wednesday, 18 September, 2019 - 14:15
Asharq Al-Awsat

US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he had ordered Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to "substantially increase sanctions" imposed on Iran, amid escalating tensions between Washington and Tehran.

Trump gave no explanation in a brief Twitter posting announcing the order, but the initiative follows repeated US assertions that Tehran was behind Saturday’s attack on the Kingdom.

“I have just instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to substantially increase sanctions on the country of Iran!,” he wrote.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, said the hit on the world’s biggest crude exporter was a “real test of the global will” to confront subversion of the international order.

His envoy to London, Prince Khalid bin Bander, told the BBC the attack was “almost certainly” Iranian-backed, however: “We’re trying not to react too quickly because the last thing we need is more conflict in the region.”

Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi militias claimed responsibility for the strikes. The attacks disrupted global oil supplies.

Saudi Arabia has said oil production would be fully recovered by the end of the month.

An already-tense relationship between Iran and the United States has worsened over the past year, when Trump withdrew the United States from a nuclear pact with Iran and six other countries saying it did not go far enough, and reimposed sanctions on Iran.

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