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Tehran says fresh US sanctions block path to diplomacy

The US administration's latest sanctions targeting several Iranian officials, including the country's supreme leader, have drawn the ire of the government in Tehran.
U.S.  President Donald Trump speaks before signing an executive order imposing fresh sanctions on Iran as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Vice President Mike Pence look on in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., June 24, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria - RC1D3FDB52D0

"The White House is suffering from mental disability," said enraged Iranian President Hassan Rouhani June 25 in response to new US sanctions targeting the Islamic Republic's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and several other senior Iranian officials.

The punitive measures were approved by President Donald Trump as "a strong and proportionate response" to what he called "Iran’s increasingly provocative actions." Last week, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) shot down a US drone over the Gulf of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz, saying the surveillance aircraft had violated its airspace, while Washington insisted the Global Hawk drone was simply flying within international borders.

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