President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Monday (June 24) that placed new 'hard-hitting' sanctions on Iran, which explicitly target Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Trump told members of the press in the Oval Office that the latest round of financial sanctions "will deny the supreme leader and the supreme leader's office and those closely affiliated with him and the office access to key financial resources and support."
Trump promised that his administration will "continue to increase pressure on Tehran until the regime abandons its dangerous activities and its aspirations, including the pursuit of nuclear weapons."
The new sanctions come as tensions between the two nations continue to rise. The United States accused Iran of attacking two oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, a claim which Iranian officials have denied.
Last Thursday (June 20), Iran shot down an unmanned U.S. drone, claiming it had violated their airspace. U.S. officials say the drone was flying over international waters when it was shot down in an unprovoked act of aggression.
The military reportedly conducted a cyber attack on Iranian missile control networks in response, and President Trump announced he called off a retaliatory strike because military officials anticipated they would cause 150 casualties.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to Saudi Arabia, where he will meet with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman "to discuss ways to counter the malign Iranian influence in the region."
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