US sanctions against Zarif prove useless as FM visits 10 int’l destinations after bans

FNA – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has been to 10 cities in Europe, Middle East and East Asia just days after the US announced him listed under sanctions, in a move to show the world that Washington is too week to obstruct Tehran’s active diplomacy.

Visiting 9 countries in an 18-day voyage of 43,897 kilometers was the active response of Zarif and Iran’s dynamic foreign policy to US sanctions against the foreign minister of the Islamic Republic.

Just a day after Washington put into place its sanctions against the Iranian minister, Zarif held ten meetings in Tehran. He also elaborated on the principle of Tehran’s foreign policy in several speeches then.

Since August 11, the top diplomat has gone on two European and Asian tours, two visits for following up bilateral ties, and a trip on the sidelines of an important international summit. In other words, just in a span of 18 days, Zarif visited 10 international destinations, namely Doha, Kuwait City, Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo, Paris, Biarritz, Beijing, Tokyo and Kuala Lumpur, which is unprecedented in the history of Iran’s foreign policy in all ages.

During these visits, Zarif held meetings with 6 heads of states, a king, a crown prince, a parliament speaker, 10 foreign ministers, 4 economy ministers, a head of foreign policy and defense commission, and a former foreign minister. These figures alone show that his visits were not limited to meeting with surface level talks with junior officials, but he has held meetings at the highest levels and with top officials of the host countries.

On Sunday, Zarif referred to his recent visits to ten international destinations in August, and underlined the ineffectiveness of Washington’s sanctions against him. He added that even the NATO and other US allies do not care about the ban.

“The Americans imagine that this sanction can make me quiet but it has not been so with God’s help,” Zarif said, noting that many European and even American journalists have demanded interviews with him in Iran and the European states.

He referred to his recent tour of four European countries (Sweden, Finland, Norway and France), and reminded that they are the NATO members or have very close relations with the US, implying that his visit to these states shows that they don’t care about Washington’s sanctions on him.

“If I had time, my trips to many other countries were also possible and this trend shows that sanctions against me have been ignored by the international community,” Zarif said.

Late in July, the US Department of Treasury imposed sanctions against Zarif.

Zarif, who has been Iran’s foreign minister since 2013, was the chief negotiator in the multinational nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The Trump administration said last month it was planning to impose sanctions against Iranian top diplomat.

In reaction to the decision, Zarif played down the US sanctions against him, expressing pleasure that he is considered as a “huge threat” to Washington’s plots.

“The US’ reason for designating me is that I am Iran’s primary spokesperson around the world,” Zarif wrote on his Twitter account.

“It has no effect on me or my family, as I have no property or interests outside of Iran,” he added, asking the US whether the truth is really painful.

“Thank you for considering me such a huge threat to your agenda,” Zarif reiterated.

“We know that calling for dialog and peace is an existential threat to B-Team. And since reason for designating me is my words, would US persons need OFAC license to engage with me by reading my writings or listening to interviews?” he wrote.