US President Donald Trump has said that “additional sanctions” against Iran are aimed at stopping the country from developing a nuclear bomb, but warned that military actions against Tehran remains on the table.
“We are putting major additional Sanctions on Iran on Monday,” Trump wrote on his Twitter on Saturday afternoon. He immediately added that he looks forward to the day when “sanctions come off Iran, and they become a productive and prosperous nation again.”
“We’re putting additional sanctions on. They’re going on slowly and, in some cases, pretty rapidly, but additional sanctions are being put on Iran,” the US president said earlier on Saturday, without specifying what the fresh round of restrictions were.
The US increasing pressure on Tehran is “not about oil,” he insisted. “The fact is that we’re not going to have Iran have a nuclear weapon. When they agree to that, they’re going to have a wealthy country and I’m going to be their best friend.”
Early on Thursday, Iran shot down an unresponsive US Global Hawk surveillance drone. Tehran said the aircraft had violated its airspace, while the US insisted that the UAV was hit over neutral waters. On Friday, Trump said that he’d aborted a retaliatory strike against Iran – which he deemed not proportionate – just ten minutes before it was to be executed and signaled that he was open for talks with Tehran.
Trump told reporters on Saturday that it was important to “start over” on the Islamic Republic, and rephrased his own campaign slogan, saying: “Let’s make Iran great again.”
“Hopefully Iran is smart and cares about its people,” he said, warning Tehran against any rash moves.
Trump also addressed the role of his national security advisor, John Bolton, who is believed to be the main advocate for using force against Iran. Bolton is “definitely a hawk,” Trump reportedly said, adding that he is listening to “everybody” on Iran.