US imposes financial sanctions on Iran’s foreign minister

Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif addresses the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development at the United Nations headquarters on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government is imposing financial sanctions on Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, as part of its escalating campaign of pressure against the Islamic Republic.

The highly unusual action of penalizing the top diplomat of another nation comes a month after President Donald Trump signed an executive order placing sanctions on Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Iranian officials have noted that Zarif doesn't have any U.S. assets.

U.S. officials say Zarif's travels to New York for official U.N. business would be uninhibited by the new sanctions, in accordance with America's international obligations.

Zarif met earlier this month with Republican Sen. Rand Paul, a Trump ally, about potentially opening a back channel for restarting nuclear talks between the two countries.

Copyright 2019 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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