Mnuchin says Iran tensions 'worse' because plan 'is working'

Mnuchin says Iran tensions 'worse' because plan 'is working'
© Aaron Schwartz

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Sunday that increased tensions with Iran show that the Trump administration's approach to pressuring Tehran with sanctions is working. 

"Tensions are worse because it's working," Mnuchin said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union." 

"We've cut off all the money to Iran, you see Iran in desperation attacking its neighbors," he added. 

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The Trump administration put new sanctions on Iran's central bank late last week in response to drone and missile attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities, which the Trump administration has blamed on Iran. 

"Does this mean at this point the Trump administration has exhausted its ability to sanction Iran?" CNN host Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperRepublicans, Democrats brace for first public testimony in impeachment inquiry Johnson dismisses testimony from White House officials contradicting Trump as 'just their impression' Saagar Enjeti: Harris campaign 'is failing because she doesn't stand for anything' MORE asked Mnuchin on Sunday. 

In response, Mnuchin said the administration will now focus on individuals violating the sanctions, including allied countries. 

"Assume everybody attached to the U.S. dollar will abide by these sanctions," Mnuchin said. 

Tensions between Washington and Tehran increased last year when President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump faces high stakes in meeting with Erdoğan amid impeachment drama Democrats worry they don't have right candidate to beat Trump Trump threatening to fire Mulvaney: report MORE withdrew the U.S. from the Obama-era nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions on Iran. 

Late last week, he also authorized the deployment of more U.S. troops and equipment to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in response to the attacks on the Saudi oil facilities.