U.S. Slaps Sanctions On Nuclear Supply Network for Iran’s Enrichment Program

China US Iran

The document, known as the Additional Protocol, gives United Nations inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) more tools to verify that a nuclear programme is peaceful. "We're confident", the official said, adding that a video of the incident could be released.

Relations have deteriorated since May, when Trump tightened USA sanctions on Iran to try to choke off its oil exports, the main source of foreign exchange and government revenues for the Islamic Republic.

The United States will destroy any Iranian drones that fly "too close" to its ships in the Strait of Hormuz and has evidence that it shot down a drone on Thursday, a senior Trump administration official said on Friday. "If Trump wants more for more, we can ratify the Additional Protocol and he can lift the sanctions he set", the Guardian newspaper quoted Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as telling reporters.

The Trump administration official said the president - who is seeking stricter restraints on Iran's nuclear activity and regional behavior - remained open to negotiations with Tehran without preconditions.

Relations between the United States and Iran have worsened since a year ago when Trump abandoned a 2015 worldwide nuclear deal between world powers and Iran.

"This is the latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran, against vessels operating in global waters", said Trump.

This week, Zarif criticized USA foreign policies and told reporters during his visit to the United Nations headquarters in NY that the onus is on the United States to ease tensions with Iran.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said "we have very clear evidence" that U.S. Navy warship Boxer had downed an Iranian drone.

These are the first sanctions taken by the USA since Iran raised its uranium enrichment level above the limit set by the 2015 nuclear agreement.

Former US officials saw a diplomatic opening.

"The administration ought to use this as an opportunity to talk seriously internally about what it wants and to test the Iranian position, but I doubt that they will", he said.

Those tensions appeared to ratchet up further Friday when Iran said that it had seized a British-flagged oil tanker in the Persian Gulf.

Iranian oil exports have plummeted to around 0.3 million bpd in June from 2.8 million bpd in early 2018.

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