President Donald Trump has said that the United States would impose “major” new sanctions on Iran in two days — a move sure to exacerbate tensions with the Islamic republic inflamed by the downing of a US spy plane.
Trump tamped down the threat of military action on Friday when he called off retaliatory strikes at the last minute because the response was not “proportionate” to the drone’s destruction over the Strait of Hormuz.. But he had said military action is still an option and brandished the threat of sanctions ever since.
Now, he has set a timetable for fresh punitive economic measures to heap more pressure on an Iranian economy already reeling from the sanctions in place since Trump withdrew from an international nuclear deal with Tehran.
“We are putting major additional Sanctions on Iran on Monday,” Trump tweeted.“I look forward to the day that Sanctions come off Iran, and they become a productive and prosperous nation again – The sooner the better!
”Earlier, before heading to Camp David for meetings with his advisors on the situation, Trump said he would be Iran’s “best friend” and that the Islamic republic could be a “wealthy” country if it renounced nuclear weapons.“We’re not going to have Iran have a nuclear weapon,”
Trump told reporters outside the White House.“When they agree to that, they’re going to have a wealthy country. They’re going to be so happy, and I’m going to be their best friend. I hope that happens.”
“Let’s make Iran great again,” he added, tweaking for the occasion his main domestic political mantra.