“Conspiring to starve a population is a crime against humanity,” he added.
Zarif, however, pledged that “Iranians WILL survive this latest of cruelties,” adding, “Culprits & enablers—who block our money—WILL face justice.”
His comments came after the United States Treasury Department levied bans against as many as 18 Iranian banks.
The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) specified two of the targets as Iran’s Bank Maskan, and Bank Keshavarzi. The former is relied on by the biggest part of the country’s 80-million-strong population for loans assisting them to buy houses, while the latter has the biggest stakes countrywide in the agricultural sector.
Bank Refah Kargaran that is favored by the country’s laborers and technical workers, Bank Gharzolhasaneh Resalat that is reputed for its small and low-interest loans, and entrepreneurship-focused Karafarin Bank were three others of the financial institutions.
The rest of the sanctioned institutions were named as Pasargad Bank, Saman Bank, Sarmayeh Bank, Tose’e Ta’avon (Cooperative Development) Bank, Tourism Bank, and Amin Investment Bank.
The OFAC alleged that the relatively across-the-board measure was in line with the US’ general policy of targeting the Iranian entities that “may” be used to support Iran’s nuclear program, missile program or, what it called, its “terrorist” activities and “malign regional influence.”