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Sanctioning Zarif further proof for US "hypocrisy" in calling for talks: Iran 1st VP

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, Aug 1, IRNA -- Even the enemies of Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif confess to his rare knowledge and skill in dialog and creating opportunities to avoid clashes and wars, wrote Iran's First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri in a Twitter message.

Sanctioning Zarif is another proof for the US' "hypocrisy and dishonesty" in calling for negotiations, Jahangiri wrote.

He added that the sanctions imposed by the US Treasury on Zarif root in frustration, illogicality, and adventurism.

In reaction to the sanctions, Iran's Foreign Minister Zarif wrote on his Twitter account on Thursday after being sanctioned by the US that "dialog and peace" are "existential threats" to the B-team and the Americans never need a permission from the US Treasury to "engage" with him.

Zarif earlier had said that the B-Team consists of US National Security Advisor John Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the Saudi and the Emirati crown princes, respectively, Mohammad bin Salman and Mohammed bin Zayed.

"We know that calling for dialog and peace is an existential threat to B-team," Zarif wrote.

"Would 'US persons' need OFAC [US Office of Foreign Assets Control] license to 'engage' with me by reading my writings or listening to interviews?" he questioned.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said on Thursday that the sanctions imposed on Zarif are because the superpowers are afraid to interview him as the pillars of the White House start to shake with the words of a wise logical person, which worries the US and shows Iran's power.

Many political figures criticized the US for the move. Wendy Sherman, former US politician who was part of the US negotiation team with Iran, wrote in a tweet that sanctioning Zarif "belies" US President Donald Trump's "call for talks with no preconditions."

She added, "Sanctioning FMs never helps diplomacy."

Former Principal Deputy Coordinator for Sanctions Policy of the United States Richard Nephew wrote in a tweet on Wednesday that sanctioning Iran's Zarif is one of "the most ridiculous steps" he had ever seen during Donald Trump's administration.

"It won't meaningfully affect Zarif's diplomacy, it probably won't result in much in terms of asset freeze or complications for him," wrote Richard Nephew.


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