"I don't think anyone has any clue what our policy is".
Why is the U.S. imposing sanctions now?
Trump is also authorizing the Secretary of the Treasury to impose sanctions on any person who provides material support to the Supreme Leader's Office. "Indeed, we've already seen air carriers from around the world avoid Iran's flight information region as a result". In May, Washington ordered all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil.
Trump said he called off a military strike against Iran on Friday after a USA drone was shot down, saying he was "not looking for war". Earlier this month, Trump blamed Iran for mine attacks on two oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz. Today's sanctions target the Ayatollah Khamenei directly.
"We.do not consider them to have any impact", Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said earlier, adding that "there are no more sanctions left" that the United States could impose.
Sanctions will also be imposed on Iran's foreign minister later this week, according to Mr Mnuchin. "He also oversees the regime's most brutal instrument, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard".
There financial assets held in the U.S. or USA territories will be frozen and foreign financial institutions doing business with them will be cut off from the United States financial system, the treasury department said.
Signing the punitive financial measures in the Oval Office, Trump called them a "strong and proportionate response to Iran's increasingly provocative actions".
"We will continue to increase pressure on Tehran", President Trump said, flanked by Vice President Mike Pence.
Iran's Foreign Ministry said the new penalties won't force the country to negotiate or capitulate. But the celebrity businessman-turned-president's negotiating style - repeatedly pushing toward a brink only to pull back at the moment of action - leaves the US lurching from crisis to crisis.
"Why are we protecting the shipping lanes for other countries (many years) for zero compensation", he asked.
Huge explosion at Philadelphia oil refinery shakes homes in N.J
The Point Breeze section was already undergoing repairs following a fire in a pump that occurred earlier this month. A series of explosions rocked the PES refinery around 3:20 a.m., ABC Philadelphia station WPVI reported .
"We don't even need to be there in that the USA has just become (by far) the largest producer of Energy anywhere in the world!"
The United States accuses Iran of encouraging Houthi rebels in Yemen to attack Saudi targets.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are alarmed by Iran's military reach and are working to limit its influence in the region.
Last week, Iran shot down an unmanned United States drone in the Gulf.
Monday's sanctions targeting the Supreme Leader i meant to country's leadership access "to financial resources" and authorized the "targeting of persons appointed to certain official or other positions by the Supreme Leader or the Supreme Leader's Office". In a tweet, he said that he had decided against the strike after a general told him that 150 people would be killed. "So Indian refiners can't escape from USA oil", said Sri Paravaikkarasu, director for Asia oil at energy consultancy FGE.
On Monday, Pompeo held separate talks with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Saudi port city of Jiddah to discuss the escalation with Iran.
Asked whether he raised concerns with bin Salman over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi after the release of a United Nations report that confirmed the gruesome details of the killing, Trump said the matter "didn't come up in that discussion". "We want them to have their economy crippled". Brian Hook warned: "There have been too many attacks".
The Treasury Department released details of the new sanctions in a statement shortly after Trump signed the executive order.
Trump ended a partial thaw in the countries' relationship a year ago when he unilaterally pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal despite Tehran being in full compliance.
An adviser to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday that talks with the administration wouldn't take place until Washington lifts the sanctions that are part of Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign against the Islamic Republic.
The three European countries have sent envoys to Tehran recently, signalling they remain committed to diplomacy and dialogue.