President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday denounced the presence of foreign forces in the Gulf and said Iran will put forward a peace plan. This came after the US ordered reinforcements to the Gulf following attacks on Saudi oil installations. Washington approved the deployment of troops to Saudi Arabia at the kingdom’s request. “Foreign forces can cause problems and insecurity for our people and for our region. In this sensitive and important historical moment, we announce to our neighbours that we extend the hand of friendship and brotherhood to them,” Rouhani said before a massive military parade marking the Iran-Iraq war.
In his speech, Rouhani called on the foreign powers to “stay away” from the Gulf.
“If they’re sincere, then they should not make our region the site of an arms race,” he said.
“Your presence has always brought pain and misery... The farther you keep yourselves from our region and our nations, the more security there will be.
Trump on Friday announced new sanctions on Iran's central bank, calling the measures the "highest" sanctions ever imposed on a foreign country by the country. Speaking to reporters at the Oval Office in Washington, Trump said, "We have just sanctioned the Iranian national bank," later clarifying that he was referring to the Iranian central bank. "These are the highest sanctions ever imposed on a country," the president added.
The United States also imposed sanctions on Iran’s sovereign wealth fund, whose board of trustees includes President Hassan Rouhani, as well as Etemad Tejarate Pars, a company that the Treasury Department said had sent money internationally on behalf of Iran’s defence ministry.
Trump earlier this week announced what he said would be substantial new sanctions against Iran, in response to what US officials say was likely Iranian involvement in an attack on Saudi oil facilities. A massive drone strike on the world's largest crude-processing facility operated by Saudi Aramco on Saturday drove oil prices to their highest level in nearly four months.
The attack had knocked out over half of Saudi Arabia's production as it cut 5.7 million barrels per day or over 5 per cent of the world's supply. Abqaiq and Khurais are main processing centres for Saudi Arabia's Arab Extra Light and Arab Light crude oil.
Trump last year pulled out of a nuclear accord with Iran negotiated under former president Barack Obama, sending tensions soaring as he tried to stop all countries from buying Iran’s oil.