U.S. allies criticized Washington’s decision to impose sanctions on Iran’s foreign minister and vowed to keep their own diplomatic channels open, in the latest spat between the White House and European countries over how to deal with Tehran.
Even as it has said it is willing to meet with Iran without preconditions, the Trump administration on Wednesday blacklisted Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif—freezing any assets he might have in the U.S. and potentially restricting his travel across U.S. borders. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Mr. Zarif was targeted for implementing the “reckless agenda” of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and for overseeing a ministry that coordinates with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which the U.S. designated a terrorist entity this year.
Mr. Zarif’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its high-ranking officials also have engaged in and funded efforts to influence elections and bribed foreign officials to release Revolutionary Guard members from jail, Treasury said. “The U.S. is sending a clear message to the Iranian regime that its recent behavior is completely unacceptable,” Mr. Mnuchin said on Wednesday. Läs artikel