Trump eyes more Iran sanctions, says military action still 'on the table'

US Navy's Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln transits the Atlantic Ocean during a strait transit exercise

President Donald Trump said Saturday that he would impose new sanctions on Iran while leaving military action on the table.

Trump, who was speaking to reporters at the White House, made his comments after recently calling off military actions against Iran to retaliate for the downing of a USA military drone.

"And when they agree to that, they are going to have a wealthy country". And now they say I'm a dove.

Plus, he said "If Iran wants to be a wealthy nation again, become a prosperous nation, we'll call it, 'Let's make Iran great again.' Does that make sense?"

He said Friday he called off an attack because he decided there would be too many deaths for a proportionate response to the downing of the U.S. drone.

The Department of Homeland Security said in a statement released on Saturday that its agency tasked with infrastructure security has been aware of a recent rise in malicious cyber activities directed at USA government agencies by Iranian regime actors and proxies.

Iran has shown no signs it will buckle under the Trump administration's "maximum pressure campaign", which analysts say has only hardened Tehran's resolved and strengthened the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp.

"We were cocked & loaded [sic] to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die", Trump tweeted.

"I never called the strike against Iran "BACK", as people are incorrectly reporting, I just stopped it from going forward at this time!"

His administration has instead imposed a robust slate of punitive economic sanctions created to choke off Iranian oil sales and cripple its economy.

Pentagon video footage showed a smoke trail from the surveillance aircraft following a missile strike on the drone, which it says was flying over global waters.

According to Trump's own account, he called off the bombing of Iranian missile and radar installations only 10 minutes before US Tomahawk cruise missiles were set to fly.

"Regardless of any decision they make", referring to USA decision on response to downing of the drone, "we will not allow the Islamic Republic's territory to be violated", Mousavi told Tasnim News Agency.

Citing US officials, the newspaper reported that the attack crippled Iranian computers used to control rocket and missile launches.

A second Iranian official said: "We made it clear that the leader is against any talks, but the message will be conveyed to him to make a decision".

Tehran insists that the drone violated its airspace - something Washington denies - but it was prepared to accept on Friday that it might have done so by accident.

Both the Washington Post and AP news agency said the cyber-attack had disabled the systems.

In Iraq, security measures were increased at one of the country's largest air bases, which houses American trainers, a top Iraqi air force commander said Saturday.

In essence, the aim is to reduce Iran to a semi-colony, more under the boot of United States imperialism than even the US-backed dictatorship of the Shah, overthrown by a popular revolution 40 years ago.

The US Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday prohibited US operators from flying in Teheran-controlled airspace over the Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman. This triggered an economic meltdown in Iran, pushing the value of its currency to record lows and driving away foreign investors.

A report published by Yahoo News stated that an undisclosed intelligence group tied to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) reportedly "hacked" into United States marine traffic tracking websites.



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