The Trump administration on Wednesday imposed sanctions against Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
“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.
“The United States is sending a clear message to the Iranian regime that its recent behavior is completely unacceptable,” he added.
Zarif overseas a Foreign Ministry that has “coordinated with one of the Iranian regime’s most nefarious state entities, the IRGC-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), which is designated pursuant to terrorism and human rights authorities,” said a statement from the Treasury Department.
Responding to the US move, Zarif wrote on Twitter, “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.”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin initially said on June 24 that Zarif would be blacklisted as part of sanctions targeting Iranian leaders announced by President Donald Trump.
Zarif later criticized the US and its allies, saying on Twitter they “despise diplomacy, and thirst for war.”
However, it was later decided not to sanction Zarif for the time being. The Iranian Foreign Minister was even permitted entry to the US earlier this month, though he was forbidden from moving beyond six blocks of Iran's UN mission in Midtown Manhattan.