“This appears to be a move by hardliners like Bolton and Pompeo to ensure that there is no bridge to a Trump meeting with Iranian leaders,” Charles Freeman, an American diplomat and former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said, Tasnim News Agency reported.
The administration of US President Donald Trump imposed sanctions on Mohammad Javad Zarif on Wednesday.
The US Treasury Department said in its statement that Zarif is Iran's "primary spokesperson around the world," and that the ban "is sending a clear message that Iran's "recent behavior is completely unacceptable.”
Freeman, speaking to Persia Digest, added, “It is designed to frustrate those pushing for diplomacy as opposed to pure coercion.”
“It is impossible to determine what the erratic Mr. Trump intends. I doubt other countries will follow this idiotic move,” he said.
On Saturday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani decried the US blacklisting of Zarif as a sign of frustration, saying Zarif’s logical remarks rattle the White House.
The president also reminded the US that the ministry of foreign affairs of a country is the only channel for any negotiation with that government.