US has no respect for international law: Iran’s UN envoy on Trump’s new sanctions

Washington: Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, Majid Takht Ravanchi, on Monday said that Washington’s decision to impose more sanctions was another indication that the United States “has no respect for international law and order.”

Addressing reporters outside the UN’s headquarters in New York, Ravanchi urged Washington to stop its “economic war” against Iranians, Al Jazeera reported.

On Monday, Trump announced that he is imposing new sanctions on Iran, stepping up a policy of pressuring the nation’s leaders and the crippled Iranian economy in retaliation for what the United States says are recent aggressive acts by Tehran.

The President said the order would bar Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his office from accessing the international financial system, according to The New York Times.

The Treasury Department said in a statement that the Trump administration was also imposing sanctions on eight Iranian military commanders, including the head of a unit, that the Americans say was responsible for shooting down an American drone last Thursday.

Tensions between Washington and Tehran have soared after the Iranian military shot down a US spy drone with a surface-to-air missile last week, alleging that the drone had entered Iran’s airspace.

Washington had in the recent weeks accused Iran of attacking oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. The volatile relations between Washington and Tehran has also been adversely affected due to concerns after the Islamic Republic announced that it will be increasing the stockpile of low-enriched uranium in defiance after the US left the 2015 nuclear deal last year.

A release issued by the Office of Trump’s Press Secretary said, “These sanctions will deny Iran’s leadership access to financial resources, blocking them from using the United States financial system or accessing any assets in the United States.”

“These sanctions build on President Trump’s efforts to put financial pressure on and raise costs for the Iranian regime,” it said.

“The President has implemented tough sanctions against Iran and will continue to impose maximum pressure until the regime abandons its malign behaviour,” the statement added.

A few hours after Trump imposed new sanctions on Iran, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the US president was right to say Washington’s military “has no business” in the Gulf.

Zarif was also quoted as saying that politicians close to Trump were thirsty for war rather than diplomacy.
“Removal of its forces is fully in line with interests of US and the world. But it’s now clear that the #B_Team is not concerned with US interests – they despise diplomacy, and thirst for war,” Zarif wrote.

Zarif had earlier said that a so-called “B-team” including Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton, an ardent Iran hawk, and conservative Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could goad the US president into conflict with Tehran.

In a pair of tweets on Monday, Trump told other countries to protect their own Gulf oil shipments and declared the US has only limited strategic interest in the “dangerous” region.

“Why are we protecting the shipping lanes for other countries (many years) for zero compensation,” Trump said on Twitter.

“All of these countries should be protecting their own ships on what has always been a dangerous journey. We don’t even need to be there… ,” the US president said.