US imposes sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif

US imposes sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif

access_time2019-08-01 12:00:05


The Treasury Department said on Wednesday that it was imposing sanctions on Zarif for acting on behalf of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

"Javad Zarif implements the reckless agenda of Iran's Supreme Leader, and is the regime's primary spokesperson around the world," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

Zarif brushed off the sanctions on Twitter, saying the US move indicated Washington saw him as a "threat". 

"It has no effect on me or my family, as I have no property or interest outside of Iran," he said.

Tensions have escalated between the two countries since US President Donald Trumplast year unilaterally withdrew Washington from a landmark nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers in 2015. Since then, it has reimposed punishing sanctions on Iran, including measures aimed at slashing its oil exports to zero, as part of a campaign aimed at pressuring Tehran to negotiate a new nuclear deal. 

Fears of a direct US-Iranian conflict have risen since May with several suspected attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf, Iran's downing of a US surveillance drone, and a plan for US air raids on Iran last month that Trump called off at the last minute.


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