US investigators believe Iran or groups it supports used explosives to damage four ships off the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, media reports say. Military experts were reportedly sent to investigate the incident and found a large hole in each of the tankers. No evidence has emerged to show that Iran was involved. The affected countries are yet to assign blame.
The White House said it was "the toughest sanctions regime ever imposed on Iran" and targeted Iran's energy, shipping and banking sectors. However, eight countries will not be penalised by the US for continuing to import Iranian oil. President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in May, describing it as "defective at its core".
President Trump on Tuesday said he is pulling the United States out of the international nuclear deal with Iran, announcing that economic sanctions against Tehran will be reinstated and declaring that the 2015 pact had been rooted in “fiction.”
Mohammad Javad Zarif, the foreign minister of Iran, charged on Tuesday that the Trump administration’s attempt to reimpose sanctions on his country was a violation of the accord signed two years ago that sharply limited Iran’s ability to produce nuclear material in return for its reintegration into the world economy. “It is not clear what the administration is trying to do,” said Mr. Zarif, the urbane, American-educated diplomat who negotiated the agreement with John Kerry, then the American secretary of state.