Speaking during a joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison Friday afternoon, President Trump stressed the U.S.'s maximum pressure campaign on Iran is working and discussed additional sanctions being placed on the regime.
"These are the strongest sanctions ever put on the country. We are at a level of sanction that is far greater than ever before with respect to Iran. Today we did Central Bank, as you know, we'll see. We'll see, they're having a lot of problems with us, they have a lot of problems in their own country and I think they have a lot of self-made problems. We are by far the strongest military in the world. Going into Iran would be a very easy decision, as I said before, it would be very easy. Easiest thing," Trump said. "Iran could be a great country, could be a rich country, but they're choosing to go a different way. They'll be a point at which they'll be very sorry for that choice."
"I think I'm showing great restraint," he continued. "I don't do it for anybody. I do it for what's good for the United States, what's good for our allies and it's working out really very well."
The State Department released additional details of the new sanctions, citing they are a response to an "act of war" launched against Saudi Arabia last weekend. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo went to Saudi Arabia this week to discuss the way forward with regional allies.
"In a failed attempt to disrupt the global economy, the Islamic Republic of Iran attacked the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This act of aggression was sophisticated in its planning and brazen in its execution. Regardless of transparent attempts to shift blame, the evidence points to Iran—and only Iran. As a result, President Trump instructed his administration to substantially increase the already-historic sanctions on the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. Today, we have followed through on his direction," the State Department released Friday.
"The United States has sanctioned Iran’s Central Bank and its National Development Fund, as well as Etemad Tejarat Pars, an Iran-based company, which has been found to conceal financial transfers for military purchases," the statement continues. "These entities support the regime’s terrorism and regional aggression by financing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, its Qods Force, and Hizballah, the Iranian regime’s chief proxy force."