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US sanctions Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif

The US government is imposing financial sanctions on Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, as part of its escalating campaign of pressure against Iran.

“Javad Zarif implements the reckless agenda of Iran’s Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei),” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said

The sanction freezes any assets of Mr. Zarif in America or controlled by US entities.

The Treasury said “additional information” suggests the Iranian Foreign Ministry under Zarif coordinates with the external operations arm of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, including efforts to influence elections and facilitate the release of two of the corps’ officers held abroad through bribery.

Tensions between the US and Iran have heightened since the US last year withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal that aimed to curb Iranian nuclear activities.

On Wednesday, the US extended waivers which allow Russia, China and European countries to continue civilian nuclear cooperation with Iran.

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