Defense

Iran’s foreign minister hits hawks in Trump administration after sanctions: ‘They thirst for war’

Iran’s foreign minister on Monday hit hawks in the Trump administration after a new set of sanctions was imposed on officials in Tehran.

“@realDonaldTrump is 100% right that the US military has no business in the Persian Gulf. Removal of its forces is fully in line with interests of US and the world,” Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted.

“But it’s now clear that the #B_Team is not concerned with US interests—they despise diplomacy, and thirst for war.”

The Trump administration on Monday announced additional sanctions on Iranian officials, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, amid escalating tensions between Washington and Tehran. Officials said the administration would designate Zarif later in the week.

{mosads}The new sanctions targeting Iran’s leaders marked a shift in strategy for the Trump administration since the president withdrew from the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal last year.

It had previously targeted the Iranian oil and metals sectors, as well as the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, in an effort to hamper the country’s economy.

Tensions between the U.S. and Iran have skyrocketed following the downing of an American surveillance drone. The two countries differ on whether the drone was in Iran’s airspace or above international waters.

President Trump on Friday confirmed that the U.S. military was “cocked and loaded” to retaliate against Iran after the drone incident, but backed off at the last minute.

The U.S. also accused Tehran of bombing two foreign oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. Iran denied any involvement.

Several lawmakers have accused the Trump administration of escalating the situation.

Zarif specifically called out the group he refers to as the “B Team,” including national security adviser John Bolton, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed. 

Tags Benjamin Netanyahu Donald Trump John Bolton

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