VOA's national security correspondent Jeff Seldin contributed to this report. The United States is set to introduce new sanctions against Iran on Monday, seeking to put additional pressure on the country's economy in order to extract changes in behavior from its government.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the new measures "significant," but declined to give specific details to reporters ahead of the official announcement. He spoke just before embarking on a trip to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to continue the Trump administration's effort to build a coalition of allies to counter Iran. Pompeo met Monday with Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
"The world should know that we will continue to make sure it's understood that this effort that we've engaged in to deny Iran the resources to foment terror, to build out their nuclear weapon system, to built out their missile program, we are going to deny them the resources they need to do that thereby keeping American interests and American people safe all around the world," Pompeo said.
Iran has denied working on nuclear weapons and signed an agreement in 2015 with the United States, Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany to allay those concerns by limited its nuclear activity in exchange for sanctions relief.
But U.S.-Iran relations have deteriorated under President Donald Trump's tenure, particularly since his decision last year to withdraw from the nuclear deal and put in place new economic sanctions.
Trump objected to the deal as being too weak and not including limits on Iran's ballistic missile program.
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