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HITTING HARD: Trump fires off tough new sanctions against Iran as tensions mount

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order targeting Iran’s supreme leader with financial sanctions as tensions increase with the United States.

The sanctions, which follow follow Iran’s downing of a more than $100 million U.S. surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz, are meant to deter Tehran from supporting militant groups and from developing nuclear weapons.

“These measures represent a strong and proportionate response to Iran’s increasingly provocative actions,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office as he signed the executive order. “We will continue to increase pressure on Tehran until the regime abandons its dangerous activities and its aspirations, including the pursuit of nuclear weapons, increased enrichment of uranium, development of ballistic missiles, engagement and support for terrorism, fueling of foreign conflicts and belligerent acts directed against the United States and its allies.”

The sanctions are a direct hit to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and prevent him from accessing money and other methods of financial support.

Tensions have been steadily increasing between the U.S. and Iran since President Trump withdrew the U.S. from a global nuclear deal with Iran signed by former president Barack Obama Iran re-imposed economic sanctions against the rogue state.

Iranian officials have declared the sanctions put forth by President Trump, which essentially bar Iran from selling oil internationally, as “economic terrorism.”

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