The United States on Wed imposed sanctions on Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammed Javad Zarif, forcefully slamming the door on the country’s top politician.
The sentences freeze any of Zarif’s assets in the US or controlled by US entities, the government declared, saying it also will seek to reduce the minister’s foreign travel.
“Zarif performs the wild agenda of Iran’s Supreme Leader and is the government’s main spokesperson around the world. The US is sending a clear msg to the Iranian regime that its recent behaviour is unacceptable,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated in a statement.
However, Zarif doesn’t look too concerned with President Trump’s newest sanctions as he posted a satirical tweet on Thursday morning saying that the US move will have “no effect” on not him nor his family, given that he seems not to possess any “property or interests outside of Iran.”
Zarif has been at the heart of Iran’s effort to defuse tensions with the US and other countries over its contentious nuclear power industry, which Washington maintains is cover for a covert weapons program.
But a Sr. official in President Donald Trump’s administration said that Zarif’s sharp image was wrong.
“The key point is that he has had this show… of being the real and reasonable speaker for the government. Our time today is that he is no before-mentioned thing,” the said on condition of anonymity.
The official accused Zarif of working as “propaganda minister, not the foreign minister.”
In addition to trying to freeze assets, Washington will also squeeze his ability to function as a globe-trotting diplomat. But he is expected to be able to continue to visit the United Nations in New York, albeit under tight restrictions.
“The US will continue to uphold our obligations,” the administration official said.