(UPI) — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced Monday new sanctions to continue punishing Iran for its nuclear program.
Speaking in Jerusalem next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mnuchin said U.S. sanctions have put maximum pressure on Iran’s economy, basically cutting off their oil revenue.
“We will continue to ramp up more, more, more … I just came from a very productive working lunch with your team,” Mnuchin told Netanyahu. “They gave us a bunch of very specific ideas that we will be following up.”
Netanyahu praised the United States for killing Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi but also warned that “the struggle continues, even against Shiites in Iran.”
Iran has repeatedly denied that it’s seeking nuclear weapons, saying its research is for peaceful energy production.
The United States pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal last year and has imposed ever tougher sanctions on Iran since then. Netanyahu opposed the Obama administration treaty and continues to push for more sanctions to prevent Iran from developing new weaponry that could threaten the Middle East, including the recent threat of cruise missiles that could reach Israel.
“So I want to thank you for what you’ve been doing and encourage you, Steve, to do more — more, a lot more,” Netanyahu said.
Mnuchin called Israel a “leading center of technology and innovation throughout the world.”