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US sanctions on Central Bank of Iran’s chief against intl. rules: Foreign Ministry

The file photo shows a view of the building of the Iranian Foreign Ministry in Tehran.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has condemned the US for imposing sanctions on the chief of the country’s Central Bank, saying the move shows Washington attaches no value to its international obligations.

“The performance of the US administration shows that it does not attach importance to its international commitments,” the ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

The US Treasury Department last week named Valiollah Seif and another senior official in Iran’s Central Bank as “specially designated global terrorists” for allegedly assisting Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin accused Seif of covertly funneling money on behalf of the IRGC’s Quds Force through Iraq-based al-Bilad Islamic Bank to support the Hezbollah resistance movement.

“The move by the US Treasury Department to put the name of the head of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Central Bank and one of its managers on its sanctions list last week shows its apparent disregard for internationally accepted rules and norms, including immunity of governments and central banks,” said the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s statement.

It added that the Central Banks played a significant role in determining and enforcing monetary policies and creating financial stability both inside countries and at the international level, and therefore imposing embargoes and restrictions on Central Bank officials was in violation of the US administration’s international obligations to maintain global financial stability.

The ministry noted that the government and Central Bank of Iran reserved the right to adopt all legal and political means to counter the US Treasury Department’s move, and concluded that a continuation of such “destructive and unilateral” moves by the US could have "unpleasant" repercussions for international relations in the monetary and financial sectors.

Earlier, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi condemned the fresh sanctions as “the continuation of the US administration's inappropriate behavior and hostile policies, which have targeted the Iranian nation over the past decades in various forms.”

The latest anti-Iran sanctions follow President Donald Trump’s announcement on May 8 of the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Trump also vowed to reinstate US nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose “the highest level” of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.

Two days later, the US Treasury sanctioned six Iranian individuals and three entities for allegedly operating a currency exchange network that transferred millions of US dollars to the IRGC’s Quds Force.

Iran has said it would remain in the JCPOA for now, pending negotiations with the other signatories in the coming weeks before making a final decision on its future role in the agreement. 

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