Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has condemned imposition of sanctions on the country’s top diplomat, Mohammad Javad Zarif, as a “ridiculous” and “illegal” measure, which is in line with the United States’ policy of mounting maximum pressure on the Islamic Republic.
Issuing a statement on Thursday, the IRGC condemned imposition of US sanctions on Zarif, saying, “By imposing sanctions on the respectable foreign minister [of Iran], Americans once again demonstrated their anger at the spread of the Islamic Revolution’s inspiring and anti-arrogance discourse, and unveiled their mischief and animosity toward the dignified Iranian establishment and nation.”
The administration of US President Donald Trump imposed sanctions on Zarif on Wednesday because he “acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
The US Treasury Department also said in its statement that Zarif is Iran’s “primary spokesperson around the world,” and that the ban “is sending a clear message that Iran’s “recent behavior is completely unacceptable.”
The sanctions imposed on Zarif, the IRGC’s statement added, show how the Americans are “expressing their rage and anger at [Zarif’s] way of expressing the truth [about them] and exposing their sinister nature.”
The measure was also meant to counter “a diplomacy that is based on resistance and aims to give voice to the position of a nation that has chosen to tread down the path of dignity and independence and stand up to bullies while refusing to give in to modern colonialist rule,” it added.
The IRGC suggested that maybe Washington itself once used to consider issuing such sanctions to be beneath a country like it, which lays claim to being a superpower, but has now resorted to sanctions in a bid to make up to some degree for its desperation, distress, and weakness.
Such actions targeting the Islamic Republic, however, do not change the fact that the country has brought about “an end to the era of Americans’ stance as a superpower and their adventurism in the region, and has led them and their regional and extra-regional lackeys to ignominious frustration.”
‘US sanctioning Zarif illegal, out of weakness’
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic also issued a statement likewise underlining the illegal nature of “the arrogant US administration’s” measure and calling it an action rooted in desperation.
It said the “undiplomatic and forlorn” attempt followed in the footsteps of the other instances of the US violations of international law concerning the Islamic Republic.
The General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces added that by imposing sanctions on Iran’s top diplomat, Washington thinks it can ramp up pressure on Iran and compensate for its back-to-back losses in the regional and international arenas.
The US is resorting to some adventurist measures now that it has found itself more humiliated and isolated across the region and the world than ever and feeling the pinch from the loss of credibility, which has afflicted it and its allies, the statement read.
It concluded that such measures as employed against Zarif “would ultimately not yield the US anything other than defeat and would further belie the apparently pro-negotiation claims of American rulers.”
Iran Foreign Ministry: US sanction act of desperation
Iran’s Foreign Ministry also condemned the decision in a statement, describing it as a “clear sign” of US desperation.
The move lays bare Washington’s “fear and weakness” in the face of Iran’s smart and logic-based diplomacy, the ministry noted.
The sanctions, the statement added, will have no impact on endeavors of either the Iranian Foreign Ministry or Zarif as its highest-ranking authority to prove the rightfulness of the Iranian nation, defend the country’s national interests, and confront the US “economic terrorism,” it concluded.
‘Zarif powerful proclaimer of Iran’s diplomacy in world’
Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, meanwhile, called Zarif the stalwart communicator of Iran’s diplomacy and the Islamic Republic’s powerful representative on all international arenas.
Sanctioning Zarif, he added in a post on his Instagram page, showed that the US is “incapable of engaging with the brave and ardent sons of this hearth and home” in political and diplomatic arenas.
EU to continue working with Zarif
The European Union also vowed to continue working with the Iranian foreign minister despite the US decision.
“We regret this decision,” said Carlos Martin Ruiz De Gordejuela, a spokesman for EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini.
“From our side, we will continue to work with Mr. Zarif as Iran’s most senior diplomat and in view of the importance of maintaining diplomatic channels,” Martin said.
France says disagrees with U.S. sanctions on Zarif
In a related development on Thursday, France voiced concern over the U.S. move to impose sanctions on Iran’s foreign minister, saying that along with Britain and Germany it disagreed with the decision, the French Foreign Ministry was quoted by Reuters as saying in a statement.
“We consider that all diplomatic channels should stay open, particularly in a context of high tensions,” the ministry added.