President Trump’s administration on Wednesday, July 31, imposed financial sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, amid escalating tensions between the two nations in which top officials called unacceptable provocations by Tehran.
The U.S. sanctions follows Tehran’s latest missile-test launch, the seizure of a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, and the shooting down of a U.S. military drone earlier in July.
The sanctions will affect any assets Zarif might have outside of Iran and complicate his international travel, financing, and business.
Zarif fired back in response to the sanctioning, “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.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the sanctions were issued due to Zarif’s position as “a key enabler” of the policies of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Iranian government’s supreme leader who was also sanctioned the month before by the U.S. government.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) confirmed the U.S. government’s decision in a tweet, “I fully support the Trump Administration’s decision to sanction Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and designate him a supporter of terrorism—because he is.”
I fully support the Trump Administration’s decision to sanction Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and designate him a supporter of terrorism – because he is.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) July 31, 2019
Meanwhile, U.S. officials said the United States continues to seek a diplomatic resolution to the conflicts with Iran. Until then, the U.S. government will continue its campaign of diplomatic isolation and economic pressure on Tehran.