1. یک مقام ارشد دولت آمریکا می گوید که آقای ظریف، در گذر سالها، اعتباری بیش از حد به دست آورده است. آمریکا بالاخره گفت بس است!
2. استدلال های ظریف در گفتگوهای تلویزیونی اش در آمریکا که با زبان روزمره مردم آمریکا – که او در مدارس و دانشگاههای این کشور فراگرفته- بیان می شود، وی را در نگاه مردم آمریکا، به سخنوری خواستنی تبدیل کرده است که دانشی عمیق از صحنه سیاسی ایالات متحده دارد.
3. این اقدام نامعمول، هموارترین مسیر برای گفتگو با ایران را می بندد تا مردی را مجازات کند که در شکل گیری برجام در سال 2015 نقش داشت.
4. ظریف از زبان مقام های ارشد آمریکا اینگونه توصیف شده است:
یک دیپلمات تحصیل کرده در ایالات متحده، که با سراسر (جامعه) آمریکا پیوند خوبی دارد
"بازوی تبلیغاتی" رهبر عالی ایران، آیت الله علی خامنه ای
5. ترامپ از سال پیش که برجام را پاره کرد، می گوید به دنبال گفتگو با ایران است، حال روشن نیست چه کسی باید به نمایندگی از تهران با دولت آمریکا سخن بگوید.
6. ظریف در تویئتی گفت: "آیا حقیقت، اینهمه دردناک است!؟ ممنون که من را یک تهدید عمده برای برنامه های خود می دانید."
7. روشن است که دولت ترامپ حتی دوست ندارد ظریف به سازمان ملل در نیویورک هم برود. دو هفته پیش، ظریف در آنجا با شبکه های تلویزیونی آمریکا گفتگو و با خبرنگاران دیدار کرد و پیشنهادی داد که ظاهرا نوعی گشایش در دیپلماسی با آمریکا بود.
8. آن مصاحبه ها، مایک پمپئو وزیر خارجه و دیگر مقام های دولت ترامپ را به خشم آورد.
9. این اقدام مبارزه جویانه، تازه ترین حلقه ازعلائم درهمی است که دولت ترامپ به تهران می فرستد.
10. سناتور رند پاول که طرفداردیپلماسی با ایران است در توئیتی واکنش نشان داد و گفت: "اگر دیپلماتها را تحریم کنید، دیپلماسی کمتری خواهید داشت."
11. وندی شرمن، گفتگوگر ارشد دولت اوباما در برجام، می گوید: "این تحریم به روشنی نشان می دهد که در درون دولت ترامپ همچنان این مناقشه هست که از میان دیپلماسی و جنگ با ایران، کدام انتخاب شود."
Officials described the foreign minister of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif, who worked closely with the Obama administration, as being part of a “propaganda arm.”
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration took the unusual step on Wednesday of placing sanctions on Iran’s foreign minister, essentially cutting off the clearest avenue for talks with Iran by punishing the man who negotiated the 2015 nuclear agreement.
Senior administration officials described the foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif — an American-educated diplomat who is well connected throughout the United States — as the “propaganda arm” of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
In withdrawing last year from the nuclear accord, the administration argued that the move was intended to open negotiations. But with Mr. Zarif sidelined, it was unclear who else might serve as an experienced intermediary for Tehran in any potential talks. The administration has already imposed sanctions on the country’s remaining power centers, Ayatollah Khamenei and the elite military organization, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who had hinted at the move weeks ago, said it was intended to send a message to Iran: “Javad Zarif implements the reckless agenda of Iran’s supreme leader and is the regime’s primary spokesperson around the world.”
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Mr. Zarif responded quickly on Twitter, welcoming the news in his signature combative form.
“Is the truth really that painful?” he tweeted. “It has no effect on me or my family, as I have no property or interests outside of Iran. Thank you for considering me such a huge threat to your agenda.”
Trump administration officials did not indicate whether they would seek to bar Mr. Zarif from visiting the United Nations, although they appeared to favor doing so. During meetings there two weeks ago, he gave interviews to television networks and met with reporters, made what appeared to be an opening bid for diplomacy with the United States and expressed amusement at rumors that the administration was seeking to penalize him.
Those interviews angered Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other officials, who argued that Mr. Zarif was abusing his visa, which limits him to meetings associated with the United Nations and restricts his movements to three buildings.
“Foreign Minister Zarif is a key enabler of Ayatollah Khamenei’s policies throughout the region and around the world,” Mr. Pompeo said in a statement late Wednesday. “The designation of Javad Zarif today reflects this reality.
The defiant action is the latest in a series of mixed signals the Trump administration has sent Tehran. In mid-June, President Trump approved — then pulled back — targeted airstrikes against Iran to retaliate for its downing of an American surveillance drone. A month later, Mr. Trump offered a muted response to Iran’s seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker in the Persian Gulf. When Iran tested a medium-range ballistic missile last week, Trump administration officials played down the episode, even though they have publicly denounced Iran’s missile program.
And even as administration officials imposed sanctions on Mr. Zarif, they extended waivers on separate sanctions, related to Iran’s nuclear program, which were scheduled to kick in on Thursday. Those penalties would have dealt a new blow to the 2015 nuclear deal. Appearing Wednesday on Fox Business Network, the national security adviser, John R. Bolton, said that the waivers would be extended for 90 days. Iran hawks in Congress strongly opposed the extension.
It is unclear whether Mr. Zarif holds any assets in the United States that would be frozen under Wednesday’s action, or how easily the administration could bar him from entering the country. As foreign minister, Mr. Zarif regularly visits Iran’s Mission to the United Nations in New York to skillfully present Tehran’s case. In his most recent visit, he contended that the United States was honor bound to respect the deal it reached four years ago — especially because no international bodies found that Iran was out of compliance.
Such arguments, delivered in the colloquial English that Mr. Zarif learned in prep school, college and graduate school in the United States, make him an often witty interlocutor with deep knowledge of the American political scene. That has also made him suspect in Tehran, where his many opponents call him “Zarif the American”; he sold out Tehran in the 2015 agreement, they contend, and was duped by his counterpart, the secretary of state at the time, John Kerry.
A senior Trump administration official suggested that Mr. Zarif had been afforded too much credibility over the years, saying that “the United States has decided enough is enough.”
Trump administration officials maintained that talking to Mr. Zarif was pointless because, they insisted, he lacked true decision-making authority. But he clearly had enough influence in 2015 to sell the Iran deal to the supreme leader.
Even so, Mr. Pompeo insisted he was determined to follow a diplomatic route, saying that the United States continued to seek a “solution that addresses the Iranian regime’s destructive behavior.”
“The only path forward is a comprehensive deal that addresses the full range of its threats,” he said. “Until then, our campaign of diplomatic isolation and maximum economic pressure will continue.”
Former Obama administration officials and experts on Iran who worked closely with Mr. Zarif questioned whether and how the Trump administration could renew talks with Tehran.
“Trump’s stated goal is to renegotiate the nuclear deal, but even if Iran decides in the coming months that the sanctions are no longer bearable and they want to negotiate with the U.S., it’s not clear how we do that,” said Karim Sadjadpour, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
The move drew an apparent rebuke from a Republican ally of Mr. Trump’s, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who has advocated diplomacy with Iran. “If you sanction diplomats you’ll have less diplomacy,” Mr. Paul tweeted, linking to a news report about the new penalties against Mr. Zarif.
Wendy Sherman, who as the Obama administration’s top nuclear negotiator spent long hours with Mr. Zarif, called the sanctions against him “a dangerous escalation that undermines the president’s purported call for talks without preconditions.” She linked the action to the decision not to impose nuclear sanctions on Thursday, saying it was an effort to placate hard-liners toward Iran on a day that waivers on the nuclear program were extended.
“It appears Zarif is the price for that,” Ms. Sherman said.
“Clearly,” she added, “this sanction demonstrates, again, that the internal administration debate whether war or diplomacy with Iran wages on.”
Under the waivers that the administration intends to renew, Russia and other European countries are allowed to assist in converting key Iranian nuclear facilities into energy and research centers — rather than places that make nuclear fuel.
Advocates of extending the waivers noted that they were essential to helping Iran find uses for those facilities other than enriching uranium, which can, at high levels of purity, be used to produce nuclear weapons.
Iran hawks in Washington had pressured Mr. Trump not to extend the waivers, and some expressed frustration at news reports that their renewal was imminent.