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US Treasury Sanctions Iran Foreign Minister Zarif

© REUTERS / Carlo AllegriIran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif  - Sputnik International
MOSCOW/WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has blasted the United States for what he claims is a policy failure in the Middle East and has urged its president to engage in diplomacy.

Zarif urged US President Donald Trump to reject the "thirst for Forever War" of his national security adviser, John Bolton, and choose the path of diplomacy, which he said equaled prudence and not weakness.

The United States imposed sanctions on Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif, the US Department of the Treasury said, in a news release on Wednesday.

"The following [IRAN-EO13876] entries have been added to [Office of Foreign Assets Control's (OFAC)] [Specially Designated Nationals (SDN)] List: ZARIF KHONSARI, Mohammad Javad (a.k.a. ZARIF, Mohammad Javad; a.k.a. "ZARIF, Javad"), Iran; DOB 08 Jan 1960", the release said.

US-Iran relations have deteriorated since Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from the 2015 JCPOA last spring. The United States proclaimed it would bring Iran’s sale of oil to zero and re-introduce sanctions on almost all major sectors of the Iranian economy.

In May, Tehran announced it would partially suspend obligations under the JCPOA, giving the other agreement signatories 60 days to save the accord by facilitating oil exports and trade with Iran. As the deadline expired, Iran said it would begin enriching uranium beyond the 3.67 percent level set in the JCPOA and warned it would gradually abandon its nuclear commitments every 60 days.

Iran has exceeded the treaty limit on its uranium stockpile after accusing Germany, France and the United Kingdom of not doing enough to shield the country from US sanctions.

The trio failed to make progress by early July, prompting Iran to step up uranium enrichment to 4.5 percent, in turn breaking the 3.67 percent limit allowed under the treaty.

Tehran has vowed to continue rolling back its commitments in early September if the EU countries did not stand up to "US economic terrorism," although Foreign Minister Zarif promised that the roll-back could be reversed.

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