U.S. Envoy to Syria: We Will Mount Financial Pressure on Iran, Contest Its Actions in the Middle East

Ambassador James Jeffery says the U.S. is 'contesting more actively' Tehran's actions, 'particularly in Iraq, Syria and Yemen'

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei waving to the crowd during a meeting with Iranian students in the capital Tehran, on November 3, 2018.
Stringer / KHAMENEI.IR / AFP

The U.S. envoy to Syria says Washington will focus on pressuring Iran financially and contesting its activities in Syria, Iraq and Yemen where the Persian nation enjoys wide influence.

Ambassador James Jeffrey told a group of journalists via a telephone conference Wednesday that Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers that President Donald Trump pulled America out of in May had a bad effect on Iran's behavior that "accelerated its activities."

Iran enjoys influence in several countries in the region where it backs well-armed militias.

Jeffrey said the Trump administration is now focusing on putting financial pressure on Iran and "secondly contesting more actively Iran's activities particularly in Iraq, Syria and Yemen."

Washington this week imposed a new list of sanctions against Iran's vital oil exports, banking and transport industries.