Javad Zarif

Mohammad Javad Zarif, Mohammed Javad Zarif - Iran Politics News Headlines

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 diplomacy. 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. 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 programme, regional activities and missile testing. 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. “Cooler heads prevailed. We … saw it as not necessarily helpful,” said one source familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity, saying U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had opposed designating Zarif “for the time being.” In a sign of how close Washington came to taking action, the U.S. Treasury internally circulated a draft press release announcing sanctions on the Iranian foreign minister. Zarif is expected to attend aContinue reading

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Ayatollah Ali Khamenei - Iran Politics Today

For years, Iran’s supreme leader only criticized the West over Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers. Now, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is publicly chastising the country’s elected president and his foreign minister as the accord unravels amid heightened tensions with the U.S. By naming President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as failing to implement his orders over the deal, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is signaling a hard-line tilt in how the Islamic Republic will react going forward. That will include how Iran handles the ongoing maximalist pressure campaign of President Donald Trump, who has piled on new sanctions and dispatched an aircraft carrier strike group and B-52 bombers to the region over still-unspecified threats the White House perceives to be coming from Tehran. Now U.S. officials say the Pentagon will present a plan to the White House on Thursday calling for sending as many as an additional 10,000 troops to the Middle East over Iran. And while not calling for Rouhani and Zarif’s replacement, his words limit the already-waning influence of their relatively moderate administration as they have only two years left in their term. “For now, Tehran is likely focused on building up leverage against the U.S. — in the nuclear realm and regionally — before it would agree to even limited talks,” wrote Henry Rome, an analyst at the Eurasia Group. Khamenei, 80, is only the second supreme leader Iran has known since its 1979 Islamic Revolution. The Islamic Republic’s founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, had a dominatingContinue reading

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