Pompeo arrives in Saudi Arabia as Iran threatens US drones

Daniel Fowler
June 24, 2019

President Trump signed an executive order Monday to slap "hard-hitting" sanctions on Iran that would also target the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, for being the architect of the country's belligerent behavior.

Iran claims to have shot down the drone while it was over Iranian territory, however the United States has denied any drone was in that airspace.

"I know many Iranians living in NY, and they're fantastic people", Trump said in response to a question.

"These measures represent a strong and proportionate response to Iran's increasingly provocative actions", Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. But he also said over the weekend that he appreciated Iran's decision to not shoot down a manned US spy plane, and he opined about eventually becoming Iran's "best friend" if Tehran ultimately agrees to abandon its drive to build nuclear weapons and he helps the country turn around its crippled economy. He said Iran has the potential to a great country, but said they can't be allowed to have nuclear weapons.

The rest of the country's budget comes from taxes and non-oil exports, among them oil-based petrochemical products that provide up to 50 percent of Iran's $45 billion in non-oil export.

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, speaks with a group of Revolutionary Guards and their families in Tehran on April 9.

"These steps will give Indians reliable, affordable, diversified energy independence so they will no longer have to rely on hard regimes like those in Venezuela and in Iran", Secretary Pompeo said at a U.S. -India business meeting on June 12.

"We want them to be more desperate", McCaul said of Iran on CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday.

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But alongside Trump, many Iranians blame their own government, which has careened from one economic disaster to another since its Islamic Revolution 40 years ago.

Both were staunch backers of the nuclear deal abandoned by Trump and have called for calm as the US almost initiated military action against Iran on Thursday.

"We will increase pressure on Iran".

Iran has proxy allies in the region, such as the Hezbollah militia in Lebanon and militias in Yemen, Syria and Iraq.

US President Donald Trump is ready to talk to Iran about a deal that would lift American sanctions but Tehran would need to curtail its nuclear and missile programs, as well as its support for proxies, a senior US official said on Monday. Tehran has threatened to retaliate against any action against it by the USA or its allies in the region.

President Donald Trump promised to impose fresh sanctions on Iran after Tehran downed a $150 million United States surveillance drone near the Strait of Hormuz last week. The Supreme Leader's Office has enriched itself at the expense of the Iranian people.

French President Emmanuel Macron said he would use a meeting with Trump at the G20 summit in Japan to urge "a constructive solution with the aim of ensuring collective regional security".

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