Trump Warns Iran: Sanctions Will Soon Be ‘Increased, Substantially!’

President Donald Trump speaks to the press as he departs the White House in Washington on April 5, 2019. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)
Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

President Donald Trump said Wednesday his administration will apply additional sanctions on Iran as the Islamic Republic escalates its nuclear program.

“Iran has long been secretly ‘enriching,’ in total violation of the terrible 150 Billion Dollar deal made by John Kerry and the Obama Administration. Remember, that deal was to expire in a short number of years. Sanctions will soon be increased, substantially!” the president wrote on Twitter.

President Trump’s remarks come as the U.S. is urging world powers party to the nuclear deal not to give in to Iran’s demands by providing new economic incentives to get it to backstep on boosting enrichment of its uranium supplies.

Jackie Wolcott, the U.S. ambassador to international organizations in Vienna, told a gathering of the International Atomic Energy Agency Wednesday that Iran’s recent moves to enrich uranium beyond the deal’s limits amounted to “nuclear extortion.”

The U.S. called for the meeting after Iran announced last week that it had exceeded the amount of low-enriched uranium it is allowed to stockpile under the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. Since then, it also announced it has started enriching uranium past the 3.67% purity allowed, to 4.5%. The IAEA has verified both developments.

Iran claims it is justified in breaching the limits because the U.S. withdrew from the agreement last year and imposed sweeping sanctions. The other parties to the deal — Russia, China, Germany, France, Britain, and the European Union — have called for Iran to stick to its commitments.

Speaking Monday before Christians United for Israel (CUFI) Summit, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo touted the administration’s tough measures against Iran.

“We’ve implemented the strongest pressure campaign in history against the Iranian regime, and we are not done,” Pompeo said before the Washington, D.C. crowd.

“We’ve cut off billions in funds that the Islamic Republic — Iran’s leadership — would have used for various nefarious purposes, not the least of which would have been their efforts to destroy the state of Israel,” the secretary of state added.  “It is also the case that, under President Trump, Israel haters such as Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad received far less blood money to pursue their terrorism than ever in recent history.”

The U.S. pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal unilaterally last year and re-imposed crippling sanctions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 


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