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Secretary Mnuchin: U.S will ramp up economic pressure on Iran

The US Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin says his country will ramp up economic pressure on Iran regarding its nuclear and missile program.

In a joint press conference in Jerusalem with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Mnuchin said: “We have executed on a maximum pressure campaign for sanctions. They have worked, they are working, they are cutting off the money.”

Mnuchin told Netanyahu: “We will continue to ramp up, more, more, more ... I just came from a very productive working lunch with your team. They gave us a bunch of very specific ideas that we will be following up.”

But he did not elaborate on the methods of increasing economic pressure on Iran and what the new sanctions will entail.

After Israel, Mnuchin will travel to Saudi Arabia for more talks over Iran.

Since the United States left the Iran nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and re-imposed heavy sanctions on Iran’s oil export and banking, the country’s oil revenue has plummeted. President Trump has repeatedly declared that he wants to reduce Iran’s oil revenue to zero.

Prime Minister Netanyahu, a strong opponent of the JCPOA, thanked Secretary Mnuchin for his efforts and asked him to do more. Netanyahu believes that Iran’s nuclear program is a threat to the region and the world.

The Islamic Republic denies any effort at making nuclear weapons, but Iran has been caught lying about its nuclear activities several times in the past. Since the sanctions, the United States has repeatedly invited Iran to negotiations without preconditions. The leader of the Islamic Republic, Seyed Ali Khamenei, has rejected any possibility of negotiations with the United States as long as sanctions are in place. He and many high-ranking Islamic Republic officials have said that negotiation under sanctions means surrender.

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