U.S. Sanctions Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif as Tensions Rise

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif meets with Oman's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah in Tehran

Iran threatens to reduce nuclear deal commitments further

The U.S. government is imposing financial sanctions on Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, as part of its escalating campaign of pressure against the Islamic Republic.

Zarif, in response to the sanctioning, tweeted: "It has no effect on me or my family, as I have no property or interests outside of Iran".

USA officials said Zarif would not be prohibited from traveling to NY for official business with the United Nations.

The Trump administration said last month it was planning to sanction Zarif, who received his bachelor's and advanced degrees at USA universities.

"He implements the reckless policy of the supreme leader, and he is the regime's primary spokesman around the world".

"Foreign Minister Zarif is a key enabler of Ayatollah Khamenei's policies throughout the region and around the world", Pompeo said in a written statement.

"Zarif also defended the Iranian regime's persecution of the Iranian people, having recently endorsed their horrid practice of executing gay people, as well as the regime's suppression of free speech, having acted as the apologist for their cruel and unjust detention of Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian", the official said.

The sanctions also prohibit travel to the United States, which is already banned for Iranian officials.

He added: "Thank you for considering me such a huge threat to your agenda".

"Is the truth really that painful?"

The U.S. and the United Kingdom have made separate calls for multinational coalitions to step up patrols in the region, but countries like France and Germany have expressed wariness at the Trump administration's involvement.

If Zarif received such a visa, that would allow direct or indirect USA contacts with him during that gathering, which brings most of the world's leaders to NY and has been the venue for previous U.S. Zarif, who was educated in the United States and has spent about one-third of his life in the country, has said he has no USA assets.

Following the decision, a senior United States official said: "President Trump decided enough is enough".

Mnuchin said Zarif used social media to spread Iranian "propaganda and disinformation" while the government did not allow its citizens to use such mediums themselves.

"Iran's Foreign Ministry is not merely the diplomatic arm of the Islamic Republic but also a means of advancing numerous Supreme Leader's destabilizing policies", he said in a statement.

Mnuchin said then that Zarif would be blacklisted that week, but the designation did not happen quickly.

Latest News