Trump set to impose more sanctions to deter Iran

US President Donald Trump listens to questions from reporters in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on June 20, 2019.
US President Donald Trump listens to questions from reporters in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on June 20, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON • United States President Donald Trump said yesterday he will impose additional sanctions against Iran in an effort to prevent Teheran from obtaining nuclear weapons, adding that military action was still a possibility.

Mr Trump, who was speaking to reporters at the White House, made his comments after recently calling off a military strike to retaliate against Iran's downing of an unmanned US military drone over the Strait of Hormuz.

"We are putting additional sanctions on Iran," he said. "In some cases we are going slowly, but, in other cases, we are moving rapidly."

He had said on Friday he is not looking for a war with Iran, but warned that, if a war did take place, there would be "obliteration like you've never seen before".

According to excerpts of an interview with NBC aired on Friday, Mr Trump said he had not given final approval for strikes against Iran, and that no planes were in the air.

"But they would have been pretty soon. And things would have happened to a point where you wouldn't turn back or couldn't turn back," he said, adding that he called off the strike at the eleventh hour after being advised it could have killed 150 people.

Teheran yesterday warned the US that any attack would see its interests across the Middle East go up in flames. "Firing one bullet towards Iran will set fire to the interests of America and its allies" in the region, armed forces general staff spokesman Brigadier-General Abolfazl Shekarchi told Tasnim news agency.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 23, 2019, with the headline 'Trump set to impose more sanctions to deter Iran'. Print Edition | Subscribe