US threatens Russia, Iran with more sanctions for Syria’s support

The United States has threatened Russia and Iran with tougher sanctions over their support for Syria, saying nothing “is off the table” in this regard.

“We’re calling [Russia and Iran] out,” US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said in an interview broadcast on CNN on Sunday.

“But I don’t think anything is off the table at this point. I think what you’re going to see is strong leadership. You’re going to continue to see the United States act when we need to act,” she added.

The comments were made after US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would look into stepping up sanctions on Russia and Iran, which support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The two countries are already under various types of US sanctions.

Washington has alleged that the government of President Assad is responsible for the last week’s suspected chemical attack in Idlib province which killed more than 80 people.

Moscow and Damascus have denied that the Syrian government had anything to do with the attack. The Russian Defense Ministry said the US had no proof of chemical weapons at al-Shayrat airbase, where it fired 59 Tomahawk missiles, killing several people and reportedly destroying a number of Syrian aircraft.

Iran has condemned both the alleged chemical attack and the US missile strike on Syria, saying Washington’s illegal action will embolden terrorist groups in the Middle East region.

In her interview with CNN, Haley insisted that the US administration has evidence that the Syrian government was behind the April 4 chemical attack

“What we’ve seen is, you know, in our meetings this week, we were told of the evidence,” she said. “We saw the evidence. The President saw the evidence. All of that is naturally classified. And I’m sure when they can declassify that, they will.”

On Sunday, Haley once again threatened Syria with further military action, saying President Donald Trump could order more strikes if necessary.  She issued a similar threat hours after the April 7 missile strike.

“I was trying to give warning and notice to the members of the Security Council and the international community that (Trump) won’t stop here,” she said, adding. “If he needs to do more, he will do more.”