The war on terror has entered a new phase with the US becoming the first Western nation to impose sanctions on Iran.
The sanctions are aimed at limiting the country’s access to global markets and banking and are the latest move in an increasingly confrontational policy with Tehran.
US President Donald Trump on Friday signed into law legislation that is aimed at targeting Iranian-backed groups and individuals in Iran.
It imposes sanctions on Iranian banks, oil companies and other entities.
The law will restrict transactions with entities linked to the Revolutionary Guards and other armed groups.
It also bars US officials from traveling to Iran and freezing assets of Iranian entities.
It includes sanctions on a number of individuals and entities.
Among those named in the new sanctions are several top officials in the Revolutionary Guard and other military and intelligence units, as well as members of the Supreme Leader’s family.
It comes as US-Iran relations have plunged to their lowest point in years, with Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif saying in an interview with Fox News on Friday that the US was “making a mistake” by imposing new sanctions on the country.
Zarif also said he would meet with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and US Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Zariff also urged the US to stop supporting terrorist groups in the region and said the new measures were aimed at “bringing Iran to its knees”.
Zarif’s comments came after US Secretary for State Rex W. Tillerson on Friday said that he was “not aware” of any intelligence showing that Iran had developed a nuclear weapon.
US lawmakers have also called for more sanctions against Iran.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in an address on Friday in which he vowed to continue pursuing diplomacy with the Trump administration to resolve the nuclear issue.
Rouhani said he had discussed with the leaders of the United States, Israel and the European Union, who he said would decide “what steps should be taken in relation to Iran’s nuclear programme.”
Rouhani said that the nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers would be “the cornerstone of stability” in the Middle East.
He also called on the international community to “strengthen the international sanctions regime”.
“We are prepared to continue negotiating with the United Nations, with the international media, with international institutions, with all countries to achieve the objectives of the nuclear deal,” Rouhani said.
He called on Iran to continue its efforts to reduce the threat posed by its nuclear programme.