Tehran has reacted sharply to the Donald Trump administration's decision to impose fresh sanctions against top Iranian leaders, including its supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and has called said it means a 'permanent closure' of diplomacy.
In what is being widely regarded as already-strained ties spiralling further, the United States on Monday had imposed a fresh round of sanctions against Khamenei and other top Iranian leaders. The development took place following the shooting down of an American drone aircraft which, according to Tehran, had intruded into Iranian territory. The US confirmed the drone had been shot down but had said the incident took place in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz. The sanctions on Monday are seen as a reaction to the incident.
Iran, however, is not backing down from a potential faceoff and the country's foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi issued a stern warning. "Imposing useless sanctions on Iran’s supreme leader and the commander of Iran's diplomacy is the permanent closure of the path of diplomacy," he tweeted on Tuesday, as per a Guardian report.
Mousavi also reportedly accused the US of warmongering. "Trump’s desperate administration is destroying the established international mechanisms for maintaining world peace and security," he wrote.
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The reaction from Iran at the United Nations was also scathing with the country's ambassador here - Majid Takht Ravanchi - stating that the sanctions reveal US' hostile approach towards his country. According to Sky News, he also said that the sanctions mean talks with the US would now be impossible.
A major part of the sanctions imposed by the US against Iran are economic penalties aimed at bringing Tehran to the negotiating table on charges that it is guilty of nuclear proliferation. Monday's sanctions, according to the White House, will make it difficult for Khamenei and other Iranian leaders to access financial resources.
Lines are quickly being drawn with countries either backing or slamming the decision to impose fresh sanctions against Iran. While Russia has openly criticised the move, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo - during his visit to Riyadh - reportedly asked UAE and Saudi Arabia to step up surveillance on Iran. Al Jazeera reported on Tuesday that acting US Defence Secretary Mark Esper is all set to update NATO allies on the prevailing situation