Iran’s ambassador to the UN rejected the idea of dialogue with the United States while under the pressure of sanctions, describing US actions as “economic terrorism against the Iranian people,” during a press conference at the United Nations headquarters in New York City on Monday.

“We are not in the business of succumbing to pressure. The US has been applying pressure against Iran, and today we witnessed that they have added more sanctions,” said Ambassador Majid Takht-Ravanchi. “Nobody in a clear mind can accept to have a dialogue with somebody who is threatening you to have more sanctions. So as long as this threat is there, there is no way that Iran and the US can start a dialogue.”

“In order to de-escalate, the US should take the steps, in order to put aside the armada from our region and also move away from economic warfare against the Iranian people,” he added, saying that the United States “has initiated economic terrorism against the Iranian people.”

US President Donald Trump announced a raft of new economic sanctions against Iran on Monday, specifically targeting Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and his closest affiliates.

The situation between Iran and the United States has been escalating since Iran announced in May that it would partially withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear deal which the Obama administration, Iran and the European Union signed in 2015 – the Trump administration withdrew from the deal in May 2018, re-imposing sanctions on Iran.

Tensions were ratcheted up further last week after the Iranian military shot down a US drone in the Persian Gulf on Thursday, with the US also accusing Iran of being responsible for a spate of alleged attacks on oil tankers in the area.

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