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The U.S. has decided not to impose sanctions on Iran's foreign minister, for now



© Reuters/Carlo Allegri FILE PHOTO: Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif sits for an interview with Reuters in New York


The United States has decided not to impose sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for now, two sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday, in a sign Washington may be holding a door open for diplomac


Blacklisting Iran's chief negotiator would also be unusual because it could impede any U.S. effort to use diplomacy to resolve its disagreements with Tehran over Iran's nuclear program, regional activities and missile testing.


Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on June 24 had said Zarif would be blacklisted that week, an unusual public stance because the United States typically does not preview such decisions to keep its targets from moving assets out of U.S. jurisdiction.


The sources did not give specific reasons for the decision, which came after two months in which U.S.-Iranian tensions have soared because of attacks on tankers in the Gulf that the United States blames on Iran, despite its denials, and Iran's downing of a U.S. drone that prompted preparations for a U.S. retaliatory air strike that was called off minutes before it was due to hit.


Zarif is expected to attend a ministerial meeting at the United Nations next week on sustainable development goals, which aim to tackle issues including conflict, hunger, gender equality and climate change by 2030.


To do so, the United States would have to grant him a visa, another sign Washington is holding off on sanctions for now.



CTM News

12th July 2019

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