The administration of US President Donald Trump imposed sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, placing him under a US financial and travel embargo in a flagrant violation of international law and fundamental principles that would undermine diplomacy and multilateralism.
In separate statements on July 31st, the US departments of State and Treasury announced they imposed sanctions against Zarif because he “acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran”.
The US arbitrary move is not only a serious violation of the fundamental principles of international law, but also a threat to multilateralism. It is unlawful, undiplomatic move and totally an unacceptable decision since he is Iran’s primary spokesperson around the world. US are contradicting themselves. On the one hand, Trump’s administration claimed that it is not closing the door for nuclear talks with Iran and on the other hand, it sanctioned Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif who represented the Iranian nation to the best of his ability and advocated dialogue, diplomacy, peace and multilateralism.
For its part, Iran considered this move as “great fear” of his eloquent delivery of the Iranian nation’s message to the world.
“The US’ reason for designating me is that I am Iran’s ‘primary spokesperson around the world’. Is the truth really that painful?” wondered Zarif in a tweet shortly after the designation, mocking the terms used by the US administration to describe his activities and the reasons behind the sanctions.
“Since reason for designating me is my words, would “US persons” need OFAC license to “engage” with me by reading my writings or listening to interviews?” he asked the US secretaries of state and treasury as well as the CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey.
In addition, he highlighted that this move would affect neither him nor his family as they do not have any property or interests outside of Iran.
“Thank you for considering me such a huge threat to your agenda,” he tweeted.
In reaction to these remarks, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani pointed out that US sanctions on Tehran’s top diplomat are considered as a sign that USA President Donald Trump is not true in his calls for holding talks with Iran.
“They are speaking of fresh negotiation while they have recently sanctioned our country’s chief executive for negotiations Mohammad Javad Zarif,” said Larijani, adding, “That is a sign of their hypocrisy and untruthfulness.”
Earlier, the US Department of State said Washington has designated Zarif for acting on behalf of Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei. The US president had issued an executive order on June 24, imposing sanctions on the Leader and his office and authorizing sanctions on others associated with Ayatollah Khamenei.