US imposes sanctions on Iranian FM Zarif

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The United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said on its website.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in June that Zarif would be hit with sanctions.

“Zarif implements the reckless agenda of Iran’s Supreme Leader and is the regime’s primary spokesperson around the world. The United States is sending a clear message to the Iranian regime that its recent behavior is completely unacceptable,” Mnuchin said in a statement.

At the time, US President Donald Trump imposed new sanctions on Iran following Tehran’s downing of an unmanned American drone and said the measures would target Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

The Trump administration wants to force Tehran to open talks on its nuclear and missile programs and its activities in the region.

“Iran’s Foreign Ministry is not merely the diplomatic arm of the Islamic Republic but also a means of advancing many of the Supreme Leader’s destabilizing policies. Foreign Minister Zarif and the Foreign Ministry he runs take their direction from the Supreme Leader and his office,” said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement.

“Foreign Minister Zarif is a key enabler of Ayatollah Khamenei’s policies throughout the region and around the world. The designation of Javad Zarif today reflects this reality,” he added.

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