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Iran Says Diplomatic Path Shut After U.S. Sanctions Khamenei....

Iran Says Diplomatic Path Shut After U.S. Sanctions Khamenei


Iran said the path to a diplomatic solution with the U.S. had closed after the Trump administration imposed sanctions against its supreme leader and other top officials, raising tensions days after the downing of an American drone brought the Middle East to the brink of war.

President Donald Trump on Monday unveiled sanctions on Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and eight senior military commanders that deny him and his office access to financial resources. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said financial restrictions would also be introduced against Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif later this week.
“The futile sanctions against the Iranian leader and the country’s chief diplomat mean the permanent closure of the diplomatic path with the government of the United States,” the Foreign Ministry’s spokesman, Abbas Mousavi, was quoted as saying by semi-official Iranian Students News Agency. “The Trump government is in the process of destroying all the established international mechanisms for maintaining global peace and security............................................
Treasury futures pushed higher and most Asian stock markets slipped as increasing tensions rattled investors. Oilsteadied after rallying almost 8% in three days as investors weighed mixed signals from the White House on Iran and signs that an extension of the OPEC+ production cuts may not be assured.
Trump last week abruptly canceled planned air strikes against Iran for shooting down the drone. The administration also blames Tehran for recent attacks on oil tankers near the Persian Gulf.
Tensions have spiked in the Gulf since May, when the Trump administration revoked waivers on the import of Iranian oil, squeezing its economy a year after the U.S. walked away from the landmark 2015 deal meant to prevent the Islamic Republic from developing a nuclear weapon. Since then, a spate of attacks on oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz shipping choke point have raised the specter of war and pushed up oil prices.............................

The new penalties are unlikely to have a significant impact on a country that’s already in recession due to stringent U.S. sanctions on its oil sector and has been largely shut out of the global financial system. The U.S. has sanctioned more than 80% of Iran’s economy, according to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, who is in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates this week to rally a front against Iran.
Trump has coupled his “maximum pressure” campaign of sanctions with invitations to sit down with Iranian leaders. In an interview that aired Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” the president said that he thinks Iranian leaders want to negotiate and he’s willing to talk with no preconditions except that the outcome must be Iran acquiring no nuclear weapons.................................
The supreme leader of Iran is the one who ultimately is responsible for the hostile conduct of the regime,” Trump said on Monday.
Iran has denied involvement in the tanker incidents. President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday that his country’s airspace was a “red line” and dismissed Trump’s offer to talk as a “lie..........................
You say let’s talk and then you sanction the foreign minister. This clearly shows that you’re lying,” he said in a speech carried live on Iranian state TV. “Today, you get a sense from the government in the U.S. and in the White House that there’s a massive amount of confusion and frustration. The expectation they had was to tear apart the country within two or three months but they have seen it has become more resistant...........................................
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned of the danger of the “deeply personalized” sanctions against Khamenei, saying events remind him of the run-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.
“We’re very concerned at what’s going on,” Lavrov told reporters in Moscow. The latest U.S. punitive measures “send the signal that the situation is moving in a very bad direction.” Russia is a signatory to the nuclear deal and an ally of Iran’s in Syria’s civil war.

Annoy the Iranians

The new restrictions serve as symbolic reprimand for the recent attacks, according to former Treasury officials.
“It will have an effect because it will annoy the Iranians and make negotiations hard to pull off if the supreme leader is sanctioned,” said Brian O’Toole, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council who previously worked in the U.S. Treasury Department’s sanctions unit







At the United Nations on Monday, Iran’s Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi ruled out one-on-one talks with the U.S., urging Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to help organize regional talks instead. “You cannot start dialogue with someone who is threatening you, who is intimidating you,” Ravanchi told reporters.

Outside a session of the Security Council called by the U.S. -- where Iran wasn’t invited to participate -- U.K. Ambassador Karen Pierce told reporters that “there’s a lot of desire to see de-escalation and to look for diplomatic solutions. At the same time, one has to take very seriously the sorts of attacks that have occurred on the tankers, which is dangerous for international shipping, dangerous for regional security..............................

Iran Says Diplomatic Path Shut After U.S. Sanctions Khamenei


Iran said the path to a diplomatic solution with the U.S. had closed after the Trump administration imposed sanctions against its supreme leader and other top officials, raising tensions days after the downing of an American drone brought the Middle East to the brink of war.

President Donald Trump on Monday unveiled sanctions on Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and eight senior military commanders that deny him and his office access to financial resources. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said financial restrictions would also be introduced against Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif later this week.
“The futile sanctions against the Iranian leader and the country’s chief diplomat mean the permanent closure of the diplomatic path with the government of the United States,” the Foreign Ministry’s spokesman, Abbas Mousavi, was quoted as saying by semi-official Iranian Students News Agency. “The Trump government is in the process of destroying all the established international mechanisms for maintaining global peace and security............................................
Treasury futures pushed higher and most Asian stock markets slipped as increasing tensions rattled investors. Oilsteadied after rallying almost 8% in three days as investors weighed mixed signals from the White House on Iran and signs that an extension of the OPEC+ production cuts may not be assured.
Trump last week abruptly canceled planned air strikes against Iran for shooting down the drone. The administration also blames Tehran for recent attacks on oil tankers near the Persian Gulf.
Tensions have spiked in the Gulf since May, when the Trump administration revoked waivers on the import of Iranian oil, squeezing its economy a year after the U.S. walked away from the landmark 2015 deal meant to prevent the Islamic Republic from developing a nuclear weapon. Since then, a spate of attacks on oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz shipping choke point have raised the specter of war and pushed up oil prices.............................

The new penalties are unlikely to have a significant impact on a country that’s already in recession due to stringent U.S. sanctions on its oil sector and has been largely shut out of the global financial system. The U.S. has sanctioned more than 80% of Iran’s economy, according to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, who is in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates this week to rally a front against Iran.
Trump has coupled his “maximum pressure” campaign of sanctions with invitations to sit down with Iranian leaders. In an interview that aired Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” the president said that he thinks Iranian leaders want to negotiate and he’s willing to talk with no preconditions except that the outcome must be Iran acquiring no nuclear weapons.................................
The supreme leader of Iran is the one who ultimately is responsible for the hostile conduct of the regime,” Trump said on Monday.
Iran has denied involvement in the tanker incidents. President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday that his country’s airspace was a “red line” and dismissed Trump’s offer to talk as a “lie..........................
You say let’s talk and then you sanction the foreign minister. This clearly shows that you’re lying,” he said in a speech carried live on Iranian state TV. “Today, you get a sense from the government in the U.S. and in the White House that there’s a massive amount of confusion and frustration. The expectation they had was to tear apart the country within two or three months but they have seen it has become more resistant...........................................
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned of the danger of the “deeply personalized” sanctions against Khamenei, saying events remind him of the run-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.
“We’re very concerned at what’s going on,” Lavrov told reporters in Moscow. The latest U.S. punitive measures “send the signal that the situation is moving in a very bad direction.” Russia is a signatory to the nuclear deal and an ally of Iran’s in Syria’s civil war.

Annoy the Iranians

The new restrictions serve as symbolic reprimand for the recent attacks, according to former Treasury officials.
“It will have an effect because it will annoy the Iranians and make negotiations hard to pull off if the supreme leader is sanctioned,” said Brian O’Toole, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council who previously worked in the U.S. Treasury Department’s sanctions unit







At the United Nations on Monday, Iran’s Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi ruled out one-on-one talks with the U.S., urging Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to help organize regional talks instead. “You cannot start dialogue with someone who is threatening you, who is intimidating you,” Ravanchi told reporters.

Outside a session of the Security Council called by the U.S. -- where Iran wasn’t invited to participate -- U.K. Ambassador Karen Pierce told reporters that “there’s a lot of desire to see de-escalation and to look for diplomatic solutions. At the same time, one has to take very seriously the sorts of attacks that have occurred on the tankers, which is dangerous for international shipping, dangerous for regional security..............................
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