The United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), on Wednesday, slapped sanctions on Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in the midst of escalating tensions between the Islamic Republic’s leadership and the western world.
The sanctions were imposed pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13876 “because Zarif acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Ayatollah Ali Hossein Khamenei.
As such, all of his properties and possessions in the United States are now blocked, as is Zarif’s ability to access them. He is also barred from entering the United States. In addition to this, any person or business that facilitates a significant transaction for or on behalf of Zarif, including foreign nationals, “may themselves be exposed to designation,” the Treasury notes.
In late June, President Trump issued Executive Order 13876 imposing sanctions on Khamenei and the Supreme Leader’s Office (SLO). That same day, Treasury added Khamenei to OFAC’s List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN List) under this new authority.
The U.S. government’s action follows a series of bad behaviors from the Iranian government including illegal missile tests, their attack on and seizure of a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, and shooting down a U.S. drone also in the Strait of Hormuz. Iran is also holding several British and American nationals in their prisons, likely as part of their attempts at a quid pro quo scenario, similar to what the previous Obama administration presented them with the release of four American hostages in exchange for untraceable “palettes of cash,” amounting to $1.7 billion.
However, it is highly unlikely the Trump administration will cave to such pressures.
That money went mostly to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Islamic Republic’s adventurism in Syria, Libya, and other parts of the Middle East.
“We consider Javad Zarif, the foreign minister, an illegitimate spokesman for Iran,” Trump’s National Security Advisor and former United States Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton told FOX Business’s Lou Dobbs on his show shortly after news of the imposition of the sanctions broke.
However, Zarif dismissed the sanctions as an excuse to cover for what he claims is the Trump administration’s fear of his power. “The US’ reason for designating me is that I am Iran’s ‘primary spokesperson around the world’ Is the truth really that painful?” Zarif tweeted. “Thank you for considering me such a huge threat to your agenda.”
Trump has maintained that he is not seeking regime change in Iran. But he has made it clear that he wants Iran “out of Yemen,” where the IRGC and its trained Houthi rebels are constantly sowing discord and chaos through a proxy war between them and Saudi Arabia, which has recently strengthened its alliance with the United States.
“ALLAHU AKBAR”: ANOTHER Muslim Terrorist Attack Shakes France, Three Dead in Stabbing Attack
Three people have died and several others were wounded following yet another Islamic terrorist attack in France, this time in the city of Nice.
Per the BBC, French authorities said an elderly victim “was virtually beheaded.” The two other deceased victims were a man and a woman.
Police shot and detained the terrorist. There aren’t too many details about him as of this writing, though it is alleged that he was a 21-year-old male of Tunisian extraction and that he was acting alone.
BREAKING: At least 3 people were killed by a stabbing attack at a church in Nice, France. One victim, a woman, was beheaded.
– Mayor described it as a terrorist attack
– Several others wounded
– Attacker was shot by police and is in custody
— AJ+ (@ajplus) October 29, 2020
Nevertheless, French authorities are not taking any chances. Thousands of troops are said to have been deployed to protect churches and schools, according to the BBC.
Big League Politics reported on the last Islamic terrorist attack in France, when an 18-year-old beheaded a teacher who showed cartoon depictions of Muhammad in his classroom:
A teenager shot dead by French police is said to have beheaded a teacher near Paris while shouting ‘Allahu Akbar.’
Officers were trying to arrest the terrorist when they shot him. He died from his injuries some time later, according to the police. His full identity has not yet been established, but he is ostensibly an 18-year-old with ties to the teacher’s school.
The terrorist allegedly hails from Russia and might be of Chechen origin per the Daily Mail:
As for the victim, he taught middle school history and had shown cartoon depictions of the Prophet Muhammad in class.
And thus diversity and multiculturalism have struck again.
An interesting backdrop to these terrorist attacks is the recent row between French president Emmanuel Macron and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Hindu describes it thus:
Relations between France and Turkey, two NATO members, hit a new low this month after Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched a personal attack on his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron following the latter’s call for reforming Islam. Last week, France recalled its Ambassador from Turkey, for the first time, and Ankara called for a boycott of French goods. Several other Muslim countries, including Pakistan, voiced protests against Mr. Macron.
What triggered the latest tensions?
Turkey and France have clashed over a number of geopolitical issues in recent years. The trigger for the latest clash was the French government’s support for Charlie Hebdo, the satirical magazine whose office was attacked by al-Qaeda-linked jihadists in January 2015 over its publication of a set of caricatures of Prophet Mohammed, to republish the cartoons. Ankara, under Mr. Erdogan’s Islamist Justice and Development Party, has projected itself as a defender of (selective) Muslims causes worldwide, and had slammed Mr. Macron earlier over his push to “reform” Islam in France.
This is also something to watch as Macron works to suppress radical Islamist attitudes in a country that is approximately 10 percent Muslim, almost all of it due to immigration over the past few decades.
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