The US has imposed financial sanctions on Iran’s foreign minister, the latest move in its campaign against Tehran.
Mohammad Javad Zarif has helped carry out the “reckless agenda” of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
He described Mr Zarif as “the regime’s primary spokesperson around the world”, adding: “The United States is sending a clear message to the Iranian regime that its recent behaviour is completely unacceptable.”
The sanctions were confirmed by the US Treasury’s Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.
Imposing sanctions on a senior diplomat of another nation is unusual.
Mr Zarif was defiant in response, tweeting: “The US reason for designating me is that I am Iran’s ‘primary spokesperson around the world’.
“Is the truth really that painful?
“It has no effect on me or my family, as I have no property or interests outside of Iran.
“Thank you for considering me such a huge threat to your agenda.”
The sanctions cover all property and interests in property in the US, which must be blocked and reported to the Office of Foreign Assets Control.