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Trump Hits Iran With New Sanctions After U.S. Drone Shot Down

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President Donald Trump has followed through on previously announced plans to impose new sanctions on Iran after an unmanned U.S. surveillance drone was recently shot down by Iranian forces.

Trump told reporters at the White House on Monday that the U.S. does not seek conflict with Iran but said his administration will continue to increase pressure on Tehran until the regime abandons its dangerous activities.

The executive order signed by the president includes sanctions on Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as well as the Supreme Leader's Office.

Trump's order will deny Iran's leadership access to financial resources and authorizes the targeting of persons appointed to certain positions by the Supreme Leader or the Supreme Leader's Office.

Any foreign financial institution that knowingly facilitates a significant financial transaction for entities designated under the order could be cut off from the U.S. financial system.

The Trump administration also took action against eight senior commanders of Navy, Aerospace, and Ground Forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, or IRGC.

A statement from the Treasury Department said these commanders sit atop a bureaucracy that supervises the IRGC's malicious regional activities.

"The United States is targeting those responsible for effectuating the Iranian regime's destructive influence in the Middle East," said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. "Treasury will continue to aggressively target the senior leaders and the financial apparatus sustaining this malign activity."

He added, "This action is a warning to officials at all levels of the IRGC and the rest of the Iranian regime that we will continue to sanction those who export violence, sabotage, and terrorism."

The new sanctions against Iran come just days after the IRGC shot down an unmanned U.S. surveillance drone last Thursday.

The Trump administration has claimed the drone was over international waters when it was shot down, although the IRGC has argued the drone was flying over Iranian territory.

Last Friday, Trump revealed he called off a retaliatory attack on Iran just "10 minutes before the strike" amid concerns the number of expected casualties was not a "proportionate" response.

Tensions between the U.S. and Iran have been on the rise since Trump withdrew from an international agreement intended to curb Iran's nuclear activities last May.

Trump has repeatedly criticized the agreement, reached under President Barack Obama's administration, but has signaled a willingness to negotiate a new deal with Iran.

(Photo: Gage Skidmore)

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