CARL AZUZ: The United States is turning up the heat on Iran. And the Middle Eastern nation is responding with defiance. This is over an international nuclear deal that was reached in 2015. It was made between Iran and six other countries, led by the US under the Obama administration. Iran agreed to limit its controversial nuclear program, at least temporarily, and allow international inspectors to make sure the country was doing it. In exchange, the US along with China, the European Union, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom — they all agreed to remove penalties on Iran that were hurting the nation's economy.
Supporters of the deal say it helped prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. Critics say it didn't go far enough in doing that, and that it didn't address other actions of the Middle Eastern nation, like its growing missile program.
US President Donald Trump, who's repeatedly called the agreement the worst deal ever, has put America's penalties on Iran back in place. The latest action on that was taken Monday. The new sanctions, the penalties, are expected to hurt Iran's economy and its important oil industry. And the Trump administration says the goal is to stop Iran from taking actions that the US blames for destabilizing the Middle East.
Iranian president Hassan Rouhani says his nation will, quote, "proudly break the unjust sanctions." He called the US action bullying, and said it would hurt ordinary people.
Most of the other nations involved in the 2015 deal look like they're going to stick with it. The European countries say it's working, and that it's important for global security.
The White House says more sanctions on Iran are possible in the days ahead.