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.
Poland’s Nationalist President Declares Election Victory Over Soros-Linked Liberal Challenger
A victory for European conservatives and nationalists.
Polish President Andrzej Duda declared victory at a campaign rally following the initial exit polls in the nation’s presidential election on Sunday, as exit poll results showed him narrowly leading against Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski.
Initial exit polls showed Duda, of the national conservative Law and Justice Party, leading by a slim margin of 50.4% to Trzaskowski’s 49.6%. Final results are expected Monday, but Duda’s campaign is apparently confident enough in their victory to declare triumph in the election.
The Polish election had included a national debate on cultural issues, with Duda accusing Trzaskowski of supporting the introduction of western-style homosexual political movements into Poland. Duda, a continental skeptic of the European Union broadly comparable to Hungary’s Viktor Orban, had described LGBTIA+ ideology as “more destructive” than the Soviet-style Communism many Poles had experienced in the 20th century.
Trzaskowski was also scrutinized for his extensive links to western political elites, having received a scholarship from globalist oligarch George Soros and attending the California Bilderberg Conference.
If Duda’s claim of election night victory holds, his reelection as Polish president will serve as an embarrassment to the bureaucrats of the European Union, potentially forcing them to come to the table and negotiate concessions with Central European leaders such as Duda and Orban who insist upon their national sovereignty.
Duda is thought of as a European ally of President Donald Trump, having been the first global leaders to visit the White House after the coronavirus pandemic. Poland is also one of the few NATO countries to meet their treaty spending commitment, spending more than 2% of its GDP on its armed forces.
“Thank you to all my fellow Poles who voted for me and cast their votes. I want to thank you with all my heart because this turnout shows how much you care about our country,” said Duda at the election rally.
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