The United States has imposed sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for enabling the destructive policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei. Khamenei was sanctioned by the United States on June 24.
Zarif or his office also sought to sway elections in favor of members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and to bribe foreign governments to release IRGC operatives, the U.S. Treasury Department said July 31 when it announced the sanctions.
The U.S. designated the IRGC as a terrorist group this spring.
The sanctions against Zarif block him from conducting business or accessing property in the United States.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described Zarif as an Iranian regime apologist who for years has been complicit in the regime’s malign activities.
Recently, President @realDonaldTrump sanctioned Iran’s Supreme Leader, who enriched himself at the expense of the Iranian people. Today, the U.S. designated his chief apologist @JZarif. He’s just as complicit in the regime’s outlaw behavior as the rest of @khamenei_ir’s mafia. pic.twitter.com/XhDdqR6rik
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) July 31, 2019
“Instead of using Iran’s precious resources to invest in the brave and rightfully proud people of Iran, the Iranian regime facilitates and supports terrorism, jails and tortures innocent Iranians, fuels foreign conflicts in Syria and Yemen, and, in recent weeks, has expanded its nuclear program,” the secretary said in a statement.
In a July 31 tweet, Pompeo also said Khamenei has “enriched himself at the expense of the Iranian people.” The Supreme Leader controls a hedge fund worth billions.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that while Zarif gives interviews at the United Nations, enjoying access to a free press, the regime limits freedoms back home.
“At the same time the Iranian regime denies Iranian citizens’ access to social media, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif spreads the regime’s propaganda and disinformation around the world through these mediums,” Mnuchin said.
The action against Zarif builds on sanctions against Khamenei and his associates this summer. The measures come as Iran’s regime has recently attacked oil tankers in and around the Persian Gulf, and stepped up its stockpiling and enrichment of nuclear fuel in violation of its past pledges.