US President Donald Trump after announcing ‘toughest’ ever sanctions on Iran Friday said he did not plan a military strike on Tehran. “I could do it right here in front of you. And that would be it. And then you would have a nice, big story to report. But I think the strong-person approach and the thing that does show strength would be showing a little bit of restraint,” he said.
“Much easier to do it the other way. It’s much easier. And Iran knows if they misbehave, they’re on borrowed time,” he said.
Trump on Friday announced new sanctions on Iran's central bank, calling the measures the "highest" sanctions ever imposed on a foreign country by the country. Speaking to reporters at the Oval Office in Washington, Trump said, "We have just sanctioned the Iranian national bank," later clarifying that he was referring to the Iranian central bank. "These are the highest sanctions ever imposed on a country," the president added.
The United States also imposed sanctions on Iran’s sovereign wealth fund, whose board of trustees includes President Hassan Rouhani, as well as Etemad Tejarate Pars, a company that the Treasury Department said had sent money internationally on behalf of Iran’s defence ministry.
Trump earlier this week announced what he said would be substantial new sanctions against Iran, in response to what US officials say was likely Iranian involvement in an attack on Saudi oil facilities. A massive drone strike on the world's largest crude-processing facility operated by Saudi Aramco on Saturday drove oil prices to their highest level in nearly four months.
The attack had knocked out over half of Saudi Arabia's production as it cut 5.7 million barrels per day or over 5 per cent of the world's supply. Abqaiq and Khurais are main processing centres for Saudi Arabia's Arab Extra Light and Arab Light crude oil.
Trump last year pulled out of a nuclear accord with Iran negotiated under former president Barack Obama, sending tensions soaring as he tried to stop all countries from buying Iran’s oil.