RNA - Major General Soleimani paid Zarif a visit this morning at the Headquarters of the Foreign Ministry in downtown Tehran, as part of his weekly meetings with the top diplomat, to thank the minister for his efforts and reassure him that the IRGC’s Quds Force is fully supportive of the diplomatic apparatus of the country in all encounters against the US harsh policies.
General Soleimani touched upon the recent decision of the White House to impose sanctions against Zarif, and described the move as a frantic measure indicating Washington’s overwhelming defeat.
“This measure of the US proved that Your Excellency, as the one responsible for the country’s foreign policy, have left a deep impression in the public opinion, particularly of the US, to enlighten them of their leader’s negligence,” the General told the foreign minister.
He described Zarif as an honest defender of the national interests of the country, and congratulated him for being targeted by US’ grudge and animosity.
The US Department of Treasury on Wednesday imposed sanctions against Zarif.
According to Fars News Agancy, 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 early Thursday.
"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 two hours later.
Zarif had earlier told the New York Times that "everyone who knows me knows that I, or my family, do not own any property outside Iran. I personally do not even have a bank account outside Iran. Iran is my entire life and my sole commitment. So I have no personal problem with possible sanctions".
"The only impact--and possibly the sole objective--of a possible designation would be to limit my ability to communicate. And I doubt that would serve anyone. Certainly, it would limit the possibility of informed decision making in Washington," he added.