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Trump orders ‘hard-hitting’ financial sanctions on Iran’s supreme leader

Trump orders ‘hard-hitting’ financial sanctions on Iran’s supreme leader

Washington: US President Donald Trump ordered “hard-hitting” financial sanctions Monday on Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, holding him “ultimately responsible” for the Islamic republic’s destabilizing activities.

“We will continue to increase pressure on Tehran,” Trump said as he signed the order in the Oval Office. “Never can Iran have a nuclear weapon.”

“We do not ask for conflict,” he said, adding that depending on Iran’s response the sanctions could end tomorrow — or it “can also be years from now.”

France’s Macron to discuss Iran tensions with Trump at G20

French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday said he would discuss the current flare-up of tensions between Iran and the United States with President Donald Trump at this week’s G20 summit in Japan, saying a solution was needed through dialogue to ensure regional security.

The tensions with Iran are set to loom large over the G20 meeting in Osaka later this week after the United States accused Iran of sabotaging ships.

“We have to find a constructive solution with the aim of ensuring collective regional security,” Macron told reporters, urging diplomacy rather than an escalation of tensions.

With the EU increasingly concerned over the risk of conflict, Macron pointed to a rare visit by his top diplomatic advisor Emmanuel Bonne to Tehran last week for talks.

“We have condemned very strongly all forms of escalation or aggression and what we will try to have is dialogue,” he said.

Iran-US tensions have increased sharply since Trump last year abandoned a landmark 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran and reimposed sanctions, moves strongly opposed by Europe.

Last week Macron appealed to Iran to be “patient and responsible” after Tehran said it would soon surpass the uranium stockpile limit set under the nuclear accord.

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