The Latest: Khamenei says Iran won't budge over US sanctions

The Latest: Khamenei says Iran won't budge over US sanctions
In this picture released on Wednesday, June 19, 2019, by the official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks in a meeting at his residence in Tehran, Iran. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Monday, June 24, 2019, targeting Iran's supreme leader and his associates with financial sanctions, the latest action the U.S. has taken to discourage Tehran from developing nuclear weapons and supporting militant groups. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The Latest on developments in the Mideast and Persian Gulf amid tensions between the U.S. and Iran (all times local):

3:20 p.m.

Iran’s supreme leader says Iranians will not budge or change their stance following the new U.S. sanctions targeting Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his associates.

The top Iranian cleric’s website on Wednesday quoted Khamenei as calling the Trump administration “the most sinister” U.S. government.

Khamenei is also quoted as saying that “the most hated figures of such an administration accuse and insult the Iranian nation. Iranian nation will not budge and will not withdraw because of the insults.”

President Donald Trump on Monday enacted the new sanctions against Khamenei and others. U.S. officials also said they plan sanctions against Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

The sanctions followed Iran’s downing last week of a U.S. surveillance drone, worth over 00 million, over the Strait of Hormuz, sharply escalating the crisis.


2:50 p.m.

Iraq’s prime minister is denying allegations that drones which targeted Saudi oil pipelines last month could have taken off from Iraq, rather than Yemen.

The attack — claimed by Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels who are at war with Saudi Arabia — was part of a series of incidents that escalated tensions in the Persian Gulf amid a crisis between Washington and Tehran.

Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi told reporters in Baghdad late on Tuesday that American officials contacted the Iraqis recently, alleging the drones may have taken off from Iraq.

He said Iraqi military and intelligence haven’t confirmed such claims.

The May 14 attack on a Saudi pipeline forced a brief shutdown but caused no casualties.

Iraq hosts more than 5,000 U.S. troops, and is also home to powerful Iranian-backed militias.