The United States sanctioned the foreign Minister of Iran Javad Zarif for his ties to Aytollah Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader sanctioned by the US earlier this year, reported Yeni Safak.
White House official familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity, stated that the Department of Justice should now “evaluate specific circumstances related to this designation on a case-by-case basis.”
Another official, speaking on the same conditions, added that the US President Donald Trump “has placed no restriction son elected officials having conversations with foreign counterparts.”
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in June, when sanctions against Khamenei were imposed, that iranian Foreign Minister would be sanctioned as well in a week, yet the action took place Wednesday.
“Javad Zarif implements the reckless agenda of Iran’s Supreme Leader and is the regime’s primary spokesperson around the world,” said Mnuchin. “The United States is sending a clear message to the Iranian regime that its recent behaviour is completely unacceptable.”
Now that sanctions against Zarif are in effect, his property in the US jurisdiction has reportedly been frozen and the Foreign Minister would not be able to do business with Americans as it is strictly prohibited.
Mr. Zarif commented on the action taken by the US by posting on his Twitter. He claimed that sanctions would not really affect him as he has “no property or interests outside of Iran.”
The US' reason for designating me is that I am Iran's "primary spokesperson around the world"
Is the truth really that painful?
It has no effect on me or my family, as I have no property or interests outside of Iran.
Thank you for considering me such a huge threat to your agenda.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) July 31, 2019
Abbas Mousavi, spokesperson for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, said it is “the peak of stupidity and inconsistency” of the Trump administration to sanction Zarif.
“The peak of stupidity and inconsistency of American leaders is at a point where they don’t see Zarif as an authority in Iranian politics, but with the ultimate ignorance they sanction him,” he said.
Mousavi added that America has “a strong fear of Dr. Zarif’s wisdom and his negotiating skills.”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said sanctions against Zarif are “childish behaviour” of the US government.
“They are resorting to childish behaviour… They were claiming every day ‘We want to talk, with no preconditions’… and then they sanction the foreign minister. This means they have lost the power of rational thought.”
Natalia Veselnitskaya – official website