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Possible US sanctions on Iran’s FM Zarif not to bar him from UNGA: US expert

Tehran, Richard Nephew, the architect of Iran's sanctions under Obama administration, says possible sanctions on Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif won't stop him from speaking at the UN in September.

They can't block him from speaking at the United Nations, but he can't just go around town, Nephew said, noting that many of his appearances at think tanks and other institutions were used by Zarif to criticize the Trump administration.

On the sidelines of Zarif's presence for the United Nations General Assembly speech in September, the Iranian foreign minister used to attend many other conferences and think tanks to hammer home Iran's message.

As Iran's top diplomat since 2013, Zarif has been at the center of Iran's nuclear diplomacy for almost half a decade. He has traveled to New York City frequently to visit the United Nations, where he was also Iran's ambassador from 2002 until 2007.

The White House has imposed sanctions on Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei as well as several top commanders.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani criticized the new punitive measures, questioning attempts to levy sanctions on Iran's foreign policy chief.

You could've waited a little bit more to see how the world hesitates about your claim of talks. You have proven with your lies that are not seeking negotiations, said Rouhani, addressing the US administration.

Nephew said that though sanctions on Zarif would unlikely stop him from visiting the United Nations, they could create problems for organizations that hosted him for the public diplomacy events in New York that he attended on his visits.

They can't block him from speaking at the United Nations, but he can't just go around town, Nephew said, noting that many of these appearances at think tanks and other institutions were used by Zarif to criticize the Trump administration.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency IRNA


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