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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 TapperBaltimore police chief calls for more 'boots on the ground' to handle crime wave Chuck Todd reluctant to 'ban' election deniers from 'Meet the Press' Police investigating death of TV anchor who uncovered Clinton tarmac meeting as suicide 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 Trump Pence said he's 'proud' Congress certified Biden's win on Jan. 6 Americans put the most trust in their doctor for COVID-19 information: poll OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Biden administration to evacuate Afghans who helped US l Serious differences remain between US and Iran on nuclear talks l US, Turkish officials meet to discuss security plans for Afghan airport 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.