US and Iran showdown goes from terrible to worse
Tensions between the United States and Iran, which already seemed to have reached a critical point last week, escalated further on Tuesday after US President Donald Trump announced new sanctions on the Iranian regime. In response, Iran stated that this move meant “closing (the) channel of diplomacy forever.”
The sanctions, which target top Iranian officials, were described by Trump as “a strong and proportionate response to Iran’s increasingly provocative actions.” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani slammed the measures on Tuesday. “You say you really want to hold talks with us but at the same time you’re saying that you want to boycott and sanction our foreign minister, so you’re lying,” Rouhani stated, while also accusing the White House of “suffering from a mental disability.”
US-Iran relations have been deteriorating ever since the United States pulled out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal last year. The situation further escalated in recent weeks. Iran and the US have been targeting each other in offensive cyber campaigns, and last week Iran took down a US drone after the US accused Iran of carrying out the recent attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. Iran has also warned that it will soon exceed the maximum amount of enriched uranium the country is allowed to store under the Iran deal. The mounting tensions are fueling global worries about a military conflict between the US and Iran.