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Trump targets Iran's supreme leader with new sanctions

Iran supreme leader
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. Photo: Iranian Leader's Press Office - Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

President Trump on Monday announced that the U.S. would impose a new set of sanctions targeting top officials in the Iranian government and their access to the international financial system, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Quote"We do not seek conflict with Iran or any other country. ... I can only tell you we cannot ever let Iran have a nuclear weapon."

The big picture: Escalating tensions with Iran in recent weeks led Trump to sign off and then cancel a military strike on Thursday evening, calling it a disproportionate response to Iran's downing of an unmanned U.S. drone. The new sanctions are yet another addendum to the "maximum pressure" campaign that the Trump administration has undertaken in the wake of the president's withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters on Monday that the U.S. will impose sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif later this week.
  • Mnuchin also said that he could not comment on whether military action against Iran is off the table.

Go deeper: Timeline: How Trump and Tehran came to the brink of war