WASHINGTON – A day after renewing sanctions on Iran, and pledging more in three months, President Donald Trump warned other nations Tuesday not to trade with the Tehran regime and claimed his ultimate goal is peace.
"Anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States. I am asking for WORLD PEACE, nothing less!" Trump said in an early morning tweet.
The claim came a day after Trump announced the reimposition of economic sanctions affecting Iran's automobile, gold and other precious metals sectors. The United States had lifted the sanctions as part of the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, but Trump withdrew from the deal in May, claiming it would not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
European officials criticized Monday's move, saying Iran is abiding by the agreement. In a statement, a group of foreign ministers said, "We are determined to protect European economic operators engaged in legitimate business with Iran."
Iran is also counting on economic assistance from Russia and China.
In November, the U.S. is scheduled to renew more sanctions, including ones that affect Iran's lucrative oil sector.
"The Iran sanctions have officially been cast," Trump tweeted. "These are the most biting sanctions ever imposed, and in November they ratchet up to yet another level."
As Monday's sanctions approached, the two nations traded military threats.
Still, Trump has repeated that he is willing to meet with Iran's leaders to discuss a new nuclear agreement. Trump believes the reimposed sanctions would put more economic pressure on the country and force its officials back to the negotiating table.
Iran officials said they may be willing to talk with the United States, but questioned Trump's sincerity.
"Trump Administration wants the world to believe it's concerned about the Iranian people," Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister, tweeted Monday. "Yet the very first sanctions it reimposed have canceled licenses for sales of 200+ passenger jets under absurd pretexts, endangering ordinary Iranians. US hypocrisy knows no bounds."
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said his country is willing to talk "right now," but pointed out that "the person who is claiming to be willing to negotiate today has withdrawn from all international commitments, from Paris Agreement (on climate change) to its business commitments with other countries."
Under the 2015 nuclear agreement, the United States and other countries agreed to remove sanctions in exchange for Iran giving up the means to make nuclear weapons. Critics said the U.S. withdrawal could encourage the Iranians to pursue nuclear weapons after all.