Iran Rejects ‘Venomous’ U.S. Central Bank Sanctions, Denies Hezbollah Links

Iranian schoolgirls wave their national flag and hold an anti-US slogan during celebrations in Tehran's Azadi Square (Freedom Square) to mark the 37th anniversary of the Islamic revolution on February 11, 2016. / AFP / ATTA KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)
ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty

Iran has rejected fresh U.S. sanctions on its central bank governor, indicating the penalties would only make Iranians “more determined, patient and resistant than ever.”

“We consider this inappropriate policy to be part of the continued unwise behaviour and hostile policies of the American government,” said foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi in a statement on the ministry website.

The U.S. initiated sanctions against Valiollah Seif, the governor of the Central Bank of Iran, on Tuesday after accusing him of helping the country’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRG) transfer millions of dollars to Lebanon’s Hezbollah terrorist group.

This crackdown follows last week’s decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and reinstate economic sanctions on Iran. He further warned that if Iran continues to pursue nuclear weapons, “it will have bigger problems than it has ever had before.”

Mr Trump also started new sanctions targeting IRG financial networks. That has included a currency exchange network, another central bank official, and executives from Iraq’s Al-Bilad Islamic Bank which Washington said provided a link to Hezbollah.

Ghasemi said this was an attempt to coerce other countries who have opposed the U.S. sanctions decision to fall in behind America, AFP reports.

“Following the failure and destructive effects of its own mistakes and obvious misconceptions after its unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA (nuclear deal), the U.S. government is now trying to influence the will and decisions of the remaining members of the JCPOA and other countries in the world,” Ghasemi said.

“These venomous policies have had, and will have, no success for America, and have made the government and nation of Iran more determined, patient and resistant than ever to confront the US,” he added.

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