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1 Aug, 2019 08:04

‘Washington has lost power of rational thought’: Rouhani slams ‘childish’ sanctions on Iranian FM

‘Washington has lost power of rational thought’: Rouhani slams ‘childish’ sanctions on Iranian FM

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has castigated the US for imposing sanctions on his country’s foreign minister, describing the move as puerile and senseless.

Rouhani accused the US of “childish behavior” on Thursday over Washington’s decision to sanction Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Washington had previously proposed unconditional talks with Tehran – a curious turnaround which Rouhani was quick to point out.

“[The United States] were claiming every day ‘We want to talk, with no preconditions’... and then they sanction the foreign minister,” Rouhani said during a live television broadcast. “This means they have lost the power of rational thought.”

Iran’s president surmised that Zarif was targeted because the US is “afraid of our foreign minister’s interviews.”

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Zarif said that the sanctions would have no effect on him or his family, as he has no property or assets outside of Iran.
The Treasury Department announced the sanctions on Wednesday, accusing Zarif of “implementing the reckless agenda of Iran’s supreme leader.”

The decision has split Capitol Hill, with some lawmakers protesting against the sanctions as counterproductive.

“Rather than sanctioning the foreign minister for doing his job, we should engage him in serious diplomacy,” California Senator Dianne Feinstein said in a statement. “The only way we’ll have a lasting diplomatic resolution with Iran is through talks, and sanctioning their top diplomat isn’t the way to accomplish that.”

The sanctions have also been criticized in the international arena. China said on Thursday that Washington’s decision to target Zarif does nothing to solve the standoff between the US and Iran.

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