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“The economy in Iran is reeling already from the sanctions that have been put in place before as part of the maximum pressure campaign,” Turner, R-Ohio, told “Sunday Morning Futures.”
President Trump said this weekend that the U.S. would impose further sanctions on Iran and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the same day that he would travel to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for talks.
“We're prepared to negotiate with no preconditions. They know precisely where to find us,” Pompeo told reporters. “I am confident that at the very moment they are ready to engage with us we will be able to begin these conversations.”
The U.S. imposed sanctions on Iran last year and withdrew from a deal signed in 2015 with American allies that limited the Middle Eastern country’s stockpile of enriched uranium. Under the agreement, Iran was allowed to resume exporting oil, the major part of the nation’s economy.
However, with the administration reinstating sanctions a year ago, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts Iran’s economy to contract by 6 percent. In 2016, the IMF expected Iran’s economy to grow by 12.5 percent.
“Now Secretary Pompeo has signaled previously that some additional areas of sanctions that the United States would look at would of course … be oil exports,” Turner said. “That goes right to the heart of really the engine of Iran's economy.”
Tensions have risen lately after Iran shot down a U.S. surveillance drone last week, claiming that the unmanned aircraft was in Iranian airspace. U.S. officials have denied Tehran’s allegations. Trump said Friday he called off a military strike on Iran with just minutes to spare. However, the U.S. reportedly carried out a cyberattack on the Islamic Republic.
“We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die,” Trump tweeted. “150 people, sir, was the answer from a General. 10 minutes before the strike I stopped it, not proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone.”