US sanctions mean 'permanent closure' of path to diplomacy: Iran

File photo of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jun 25, 2019, 10.30 AM (IST)

The United States' decision to impose sanctions on Iran's supreme leader and other top officials will permanently close the path to diplomacy between Tehran and Washington, country's Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Tuesday.

"Imposing useless sanctions on Iran's Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the commander of Iran's diplomacy (Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif) is the permanent closure of the path of diplomacy," Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said in a tweet.

"Trump's desperate administration is destroying the established international mechanisms for maintaining world peace and security."

US President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Monday ordering new sanctions against Khamenei, and eight Revolutionary Guard commanders, taking an unprecedented step to increase pressure on Iran after Tehran's downing of an unmanned American drone.

"We do not ask for conflict," he said, adding that depending on Iran's response the sanctions could end tomorrow - or it "can also be years from now."

Washington said it will also impose sanctions on Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif this week.

Khamenei is Iran's utmost authority who has the last say on all state matters.

Tensions have soared after Iran last week shot down a US surveillance drone that Tehran insists had ventured into its airspace -- a claim rejected by Washington.

Trump triggered an international alarm when he said on Friday that he had called off US military strikes against Iran at the last minute because he decided there would be too much collateral damage.

During the meeting, the United States presented evidence which it says shows that Iran was behind recent attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, using divers who placed mines on the ship's haul. 

Tehran has denied responsibility for those attacks.

(With inputs from agencies)

Story highlights

'Trump's desperate administration is destroying the established international mechanisms for maintaining world peace and security, ' Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said wrote on Twitter.