Donald Trump promises new sanctions over shooting down of US drone as Iran warns of ‘crushing’ response if attacked.
US President Donald Trump has vowed to impose fresh sanctions on Iran and said military action was still “on the table” as tensions continued to rise in the Gulf following the downing of an unmanned US drone by Iranian forces.
Trump’s threat on Saturday came as Tehran warned Washington that “one bullet towards Iran” would cause its interests across the Middle East to go up in flames.
Frictions between the United States and Iran have been at fever pitch since Thursday when Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) downed a US surveillance drone.
Washington claims the incident happened in international airspace, but Tehran said the drone was shot down over its territory. Trump said the US planned retaliatory attacks on Iran, but he called them off because 150 people could have been killed.
Speaking in Washington, DC, before heading to the US presidential retreat at Camp David, where he said he would deliberate on Iran, Trump said his administration intended to pile economic pressure on Tehran.
“We are putting additional sanctions on Iran,” Trump told reporters. “In some cases, we are going slowly, but in other cases, we are moving rapidly.”
Iran to ‘confront any threat’, as Trump warns of ‘obliteration’ (3:17)
Military action was “always on the table”, he said, but added that he was open to quickly reaching a deal with Iran that he said would bolster the country’s flagging economy.
“We will call it ‘Let’s make Iran great again’,” Trump said.
He also said “we very much appreciate” a decision by the IRGC not to shoot down a US spy plane carrying more than 30 people.
Later on Saturday, Trump said the new US sanctions will be announced on Monday.
“We are putting major additional Sanctions on Iran on Monday,” Trump tweeted, adding: “I look forward to the day that Sanctions come off Iran, and they become a productive and prosperous nation again – The sooner the better!”