Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif : ministry announces sanctions against Trump and aides

Iran on Tuesday imposed symbolic sanctions on outgoing US President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and several current and former members of the Trump administration.

Apart from Trump and Pompeo, Iran also sanctioned acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, CIA Director Gina Haspel, US Special Representative to Iran and Venezuela Elliot Abrams, and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) chief Andrea Gacki.

Former Trump national security adviser John Bolton, former US envoy for Iran Brian Hook, and former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper were also sanctioned.

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Iran sanctioned the officials for their alleged involvement in the killings of top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani and nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

They were also sanctioned for “supporting acts of terror against Iran” and imposing sanctions against the Islamic republic.

The sanctions were announced by Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman, Saeed Khatibzadeh, reported the semi-official ISNA news agency.

Last month, Iran also blacklisted the US ambassador in Yemen, one day after Washington imposed terrorism-related sanctions on Tehran’s envoy to the Yemeni Houthis.

On January 5, the Iranian government filed a “red notice” with Interpol that requests the arrest of Trump and 47 other American officials for the assassination of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps major general Qassem Soleimani on 3 January 2020.

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Interpol didn’t grant a previous arrest request by Tehran prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr, when he issued an international warrant in June for the arrest of Mr Trump and other officials at the Pentagon and US central command on “murder and terrorism charges”.

Rejecting the June request, Interpol said that its own constitution forbids it from taking on any “intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character”.

Tensions between Iran and the US have escalated since Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed crippling sanctions on Tehran in 2018 as part of a “maximum pressure” campaign.

President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to rejoin the accord if Iran returns to complying with it.