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Trump Orders Treasury Secretary To 'Substantially Increase' Sanctions On Iran

trump3 102518 18sep19 lt

President Donald Trump revealed in a post on Twitter on Wednesday that he has ordered Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to impose additional sanctions on Iran.

The announcement follows the attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities over the weekend, with the U.S. pointing the finger at Iran.

"I have just instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to substantially increase Sanctions on the country of Iran!" Trump tweeted.

It was not immediately clear if the increased sanctions are a direct response to the attacks on the Saudi facilities or what the new measures would entail.

Trump previously indicated the U.S. was prepared to respond militarily but stopped short of definitively blaming Iran for the attacks.

On Monday, Trump told reporters diplomacy has not been exhausted when it comes to Iran but said Tuesday he would prefer not to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the U.N. General Assembly next week.

The Trump administration also imposed new sanctions on Iran in June after an unmanned U.S. surveillance drone was shot down by Iranian forces.

Trump told reporters at the time 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 included sanctions on Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as well as the Supreme Leader's Office.

The Trump administration claimed the drone was over international waters when it was shot down, although the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps argued the drone was flying over Iranian territory.

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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