He said that the move is a sign of Washington’s frustration.
“Imposing sanction on our foreign minister, Dr. Mohammad Javad Zarif, is the latest ridiculous act by the US administration that means the White House is frustrated in the face of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s explicit language,” Kharrazi said in a statement released on Friday.
“The US president and secretary of state have repeatedly called for negotiations with Iran and at the same time put sanction on the head of the country's diplomatic apparatus,” he said, adding that this shows that the US calls for talks are nothing but deceit.
“The US president acts unilaterally even against his allies as they have not been the least successful in negotiations with the US over Europe and international issues,” Kharrazi stressed
On Wednesday, the US Department of State said Washington has designated Zarif for acting on behalf of Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei. The US president had issued an executive order on June 24, imposing sanctions on the Leader and his office and authorizing sanctions on others associated with Ayatollah Khamenei.
The senior Iranian diplomat has dismissed the US move, saying that being designated by the US would not affect him since he has ho properties outside Iran.
“We know that calling for dialog & peace is an existential threat to B-Team. And since reason for designating me is my words, would ‘US persons’ need OFAC license to ‘engage’ with me by reading my writings or listening to interviews?” Zarif said in a Twitter post.
The remarks came against the backdrop of increased tensions between Iran and the US after the Islamic Republic shot down an advanced US spy drone over its territorial waters.
The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said on June 20 that a US spy drone that violated the Iranian territorial airspace in the early hours of the day was shot down by the IRGC Aerospace Force’s air defense unit near the Kooh-e-Mobarak region in the southern province of Hormozgan.
The intruding drone was reportedly shot by Iran’s homegrown air defense missile system “Khordad-3rd”.
Later on the same day, US President Donald Trump said he had called off a retaliatory attack on a number of targets in Iran and said that he was ready to speak with Iranian leaders and come to an understanding that would allow the country to improve its economic prospects. “What I’d like to see with Iran, I’d like to see them call me.”
“I look forward to the day where we can actually help Iran. We're not looking to hurt Iran,” Trump added.
However, on June 24 Trump announced new sanctions against top Iranian officials, including the office of Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, Iran’s foreign minister, and senior commanders of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).