Trump has finally taken the other step of imposing sanctions on the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. This was communicated through the website of the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.
It seems that the Treasury Department is doing so for Zarif to be acting on behalf of the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.“Javad 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 US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo second the statement made by Mnuchin. A political analyst might be right in thinking that this is America’s way of striking the main diplomatic channel between Iran and the West. Tension has been rising between the United States and Iran following US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal last year from a 2015 international nuclear accord with Tehran.
There is now chances of a direct US-Iranian conflict with several attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf, Iran’s downing of a US surveillance drone, and a plan for US airstrikes on Iran last month that Trump called off at the last minute.
Foreign Minister Zarif has been seen as a ‘key enabler of Ayatollah Khamenei’s policies throughout the region and around the world’ Social media tweets by Pompeo states the following, “The designation of Javad Zarif today reflects this reality,” and that “He’s just as complicit in the regime’s outlaw behavior as the rest of [Khamenei’s] mafia.” Undeniably, this move is an open punishment to Iran and Trump now has risked a full-scale war between the two countries.
Further, it is confirmed that post the sanctions on Zarif, the White House’s national security advisor, John Bolton, has said that the US would renew sanctions waivers for Iranian nuclear programs that allow Russia, China, and European countries to continue their civilian nuclear cooperation with Tehran.