New US curbs shut doors of diplomacy: Iran
Iran said on Tuesday new US sanctions on its Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had permanently closed the door on diplomacy between the two sides and threatened global stability as Washington renewed efforts to build a global alliance against Tehran.
In a post on his Twitter account on Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said US President Donald Trump's "desperate" administration was killing the mechanisms for maintaining global peace by slapping bans on Iran.
"Imposing futile sanctions on Leader of the Islamic Revolution (Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei) and the commander of the country's diplomacy (Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif) meant the permanent closure of the path of diplomacy with the desperate US government," Mousavi tweeted.
"Trump's administration is destroying all the established international mechanisms for maintaining world peace and security," he said.
Trump on Monday signed an executive order designating Khamenei in a new round of sanctions aimed at top Iranian leaders, including the Supreme Leader's office and associates.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the US would also impose sanction on Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif "later this week". The latter is widely hailed as the architect of a 2015 multilateral nuclear deal from which the US unilaterally withdrew in 2018.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called the new sanctions "outrageous and stupid" and mocked Washington's decision to "seize assets of" Khamenei as part the sanctions order, saying the country's Supreme Leader only owns "a hosseiniyeh (Shia place of worship) and a simple house", Press TV reported.
"Iran's leader (Khamenei) is not like those of other countries, who have billions in an account abroad so you can sanction it, seize it or block it," said Rouhani. "To sanction him for what? Not to travel to America?"
Rouhani said the new sanctions proved that the US was "lying" about the offer of talks with Tehran.
"You (Americans) call for negotiations. If you are telling the truth, why are you simultaneously seeking to sanction our Foreign Minister, too? It is obvious that you are lying," said the Iranian President.
White House National Security Adviser John Bolton, meanwhile, was on Tuesday meeting his Russian and Israeli counterparts in Jerusalem to discuss Iran and how the three countries could address rising tensions in the region, Efe news reported.
Iran downed an American surveillance drone last week over the Gulf of Oman and US officials blamed the Islamic Republic for a series of tanker attacks and rockets and missiles fired by Tehran-aligned militias in the region.
Bolton called on Iran to negotiate a new, broader agreement to supersede the 2015 nuclear deal.
"The President has held the door open to real negotiations that completely and verifiably end Iran's nuclear weapons programme and support for international terrorism. All that Iran needs to do is walk through that open door," Bolton said in remarks ahead of Tuesday's meeting. IANS