Punitive sanctions imposed by US President Donald Trump are crippling Iran's economy, causing inflation and unemployment to soar. In a desperate attempt to force the US to lift the sanctions, Iran is turning to the UN Court of Justice in The Hague.
The US has issued an ultimatum to Turkey: If the country buys the S-400 missile defense system from Russia, sanctions will be imposed. The dispute goes beyond the weaponry. Differences on Syria and Iran are at play.
Both President Trump and the Pentagon stressed that they were not seeking to engage in a military conflict with Iran. Trump has been trying to pressure Tehran into negotiating a new nuclear deal.
In a provocative tweet, the US president described retaliation that would mark "the official end of Iran." Iran has remained defiant, saying "genocidal taunts" would not be enough to destroy the country.
Envoy Jens Plötner had been involved in drawing up the 2015 JCPOA treaty and went to Tehran with the aim of seeing it preserved. He was told that Iran's patience was over.
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