Trump said that Iran has been "put on notice," issuing a threat to its leaders.
"If you f*ck around with us, if you do something bad to us, we are gonna do things to you that have never been done before."Trump issued the threat amid escalating tensions between the two nations.
As The Hill reported, on Thursday, the Trump administration announced new sanctions on Iran, taking aim at the nation's financial sector.
The maneuver, which is part of Trump's "maximum pressure campaign," will target at least 18 banks in an apparent effort to force Tehran to the negotiating table.
In a statement, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the move is meant to "stop illicit access" to American dollars and force Iran to put an end to its alleged nuclear programs.
"Our sanctions programs will continue until Iran stops its support of terrorist activities and ends its nuclear programs. Today's actions will continue to allow for humanitarian transactions to support the Iranian people," he said.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the policy is not aimed at the Iranian people, but at "the regime and its corrupt officials."
He accused Tehran of directing funds for the Health Ministry, which are meant to combat the coronavirus pandemic, to Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which Trump designated a terrorist organization last year.
European leaders expressed concern over the administration's initiative, saying that it will block access to humanitarian imports and harm ordinary Iranians.
Barbara Slavin, director of the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council, described the sanctions as "sadism masquerading as foreign policy."
Former State Department official Daniel Fried said that the move will not achieve much in terms of bringing Iran to the negotiating table, suggesting that Trump is trying to impress "the U.S. domestic audience" ahead of the November election.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused the U.S. of unprecedented cruelty, noting that Iran will be unable to pay for food and medicine amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"Iranians WILL survive this latest of cruelties. But conspiring to starve a population is a crime against humanity," he tweeted.
As The Hill noted, this offensive is all but guaranteed to further isolate America from its allies, who have sought engagement with Tehran.
In 2018, Trump withdrew the U.S. from Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which was negotiated by former President Barack Obama and signed between Iran, The U.S., the U.K., Russia, Germany, France and China.
In August, William Evanina, the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, said that Iran is seeking to meddle in the 2020 election with the goal of helping Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.