The United States will sanction Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, according to a White House communication reviewed by The Daily Beast.
The sanctions target both the supreme leader and his office. President Trump is also authorizing the Treasury Department to sanction Iranian officials whom he appointed, and anyone who provides material support to the Supreme Leader’s Office, according to the communication.
The president announced the move from the Oval Office on Monday morning. The sanctions are the latest escalation in tensions between the U.S. and Iran. Last week, the Iranians shot down a U.S. drone flying near the Strait of Hormuz. The U.S. government said the drone was flying over international waters, but the Iranians say it was over their territory.
In response, Trump came close to green-lighting an attack on Iran that could have resulted in 150 casualties, according to his tweets. But the attack didn’t happen.
Instead, the president has rolled out the newest round of sanctions on Iran. But in the Oval, he said the sanctions targeting the supreme leader would have come even if the drone hadn’t been shot down.