- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 31, 2019

The Trump administration said Wednesday it is imposing sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, accusing him of spreading propaganda and defending the persecution of his own people.

Administration officials said for too long, Mr. Zarif, 59, has been “indulged” as a reasonable actor on the global stage.

“Today, President Trump decided enough is enough,” a senior administration official said.

The White House declined to comment on whether Mr. Zarif holds assets that would be directly affected by the move.

Officials said the State Department will decide, on a case-by-case basis, whether he is allowed to travel to the U.S. — chiefly to the United Nations in New York.

They said the “highly unusual” action flows from Mr. Trump’s executive order, issued in June, that allows sanctions on Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and those who act on his behalf.

The crackdown is the latest chapter in Mr. Trump’s decision to exert “maximum pressure” on Iran, reimposing tough sanctions after pulling out of the international nuclear deal that President Obama struck with Tehran in 2015.

Iran’s response, including aggressive actions in the Strait of Hormuz, has led to increased tensions in the Persian Gulf.

Some global partners and pundits say they’re worried both sides with stumble into a war.

Mr. Zarif was the high-profile point of contact for Mr. Obama’s nuclear deal, which Mr. Trump has derided as the worst deal ever made.

Mr. Trump has said he is open to new negotiations with Tehran, though officials said Mr. Zarif would not be their main “point of contact.”

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide