WASHINGTON: The US will continue to exert "maximum pressure" and "enormous sanctions" on Iran to ensure that it does not have nuclear weapons, the White House has said, a day after President Donald Trump abandoned a 2015 nuclear deal with the country.
Trump had on Tuesday junked the landmark nuclear deal with Iran struck by the previous Obama administration and world powers, saying it was "defective at its core" and that he would pull out and reimpose sanctions on the world's fifth-biggest oil producer.
"We are 100 per cent committed to making sure that Iran does not have nuclear weapons.
Until we see that happen, we're going to continue to put maximum pressure, enormous sanctions on them," White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters at her daily news conference.
"All of the sanctions that were in place before the deal are back in place, and we are preparing to add additional sanctions that may come as early as next week," she said.
Earlier in the day in his luncheon address before the Council of the Americas, US Vice President Mike Pence said that this is a "momentous week" for the country on the world stage.
"Yesterday, the world watched as President Donald Trump kept his word to the American people and withdrew the United States of America from the deeply flawed Iran nuclear deal," Pence said.
When asked, Sanders dismissed the criticism of the decision to withdraw US from the Iranian nuclear deal made by former president Barack Obama, former vice president Joe Biden and former secretaries of state -- Hillary Clinton and John Kerry.
"I think based on each of those individuals' lack of success in this entire process on foreign affairs, they would probably be the last three people that we would look to for advice and counsel, and whether or not we had made the right decisions," Sanders said.