June 26, 2019 Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday vowed to never give in to the U.S. in response to new financial sanctions imposed against him personally earlier this week.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said in a tweet on Tuesday that new U.S. sanctions targeting Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had closed off any chance of diplomacy.
President Trump signed an executive order on Monday targeting Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei with financial sanctions. Trump told reporters at the White House that Iran must never have a nuclear weapon.
Global analysts warned that imposing more sanctions on Iran could provoke further actions by Iran.
War of Words
Both the United States and Iran continue to insist they do not want war, but since President Trump pulled out of the 2015 Nuclear Deal nearly two months ago, the war of words between the two countries leaders has continued to escalate.
On Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani describes the Trump administration as afflicted by mental retardation and does not know what to do.”
“You sanction the foreign minister simultaneously with a request for talks” he would lead, Rouhani said.
Trump responded to the insults via Twitter on Tuesday by threatening to attack Iran in retaliation for any strikes. Trump tweeted:
“Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration. No more John Kerry & Obama!”
NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER JOHN BOLTON
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused Trump’s National Security Adviser, John Bolton of plotting for war against Iran in a tweet on Tuesday.
Zarif made the accusation via Twitter on Tuesday, claiming #B_Team dragged the United States out of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers while plotting for war. Zarif tweeted:
“Wanna know why those with proven record of detesting diplomacy are suddenly interested in talks?
FM Zarif has previously referred to John Bolton and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “B Team” that could goad Trump into a war with Tehran.
U.S. — Iran Tensions
Tensions have continued to rise since May, when President Trump withdrew the United States from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, restoring American sanctions that have pushed Iran’s economy into crisis. Iran warned it would begin enriching uranium at higher levels in 60 days if world powers failed to negotiate new terms for the deal. Last week, Iran confirmed planned to increase uranium enrichment on June 27 — if a new deal with world powers is not reached.
STRAIT OF HORMUZ — Why it matters
The Strait of Hormuz separates Iran to the north and the Musandam Governorate of Oman and the United Arab Emirates to the south. It provides the only sea passage from the Persian Gulf to the open ocean and the world’s most strategically important maritime choke point and a main artery for the transport of oil from the Middle East. Approximately 22.5 million barrels of oil a day passed through the Strait of Hormuz on average since the start of 2018, according to Vortexa, an energy analytics firm. That’s roughly 24% of daily global oil production, and nearly 30% of oil moving over the world’s oceans.
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