Iran’s foreign minister has dismissed the recent sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) as a war crime and instance of economic terrorism.
Mohammad Javad Zarif said the new ban amounts to a food and drug sanction on Iran.
He said the CBI has, so far, been sanctioned as Specially Designated National (SDN). However, he added, the title has changed to Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT), which means the bank cannot buy food and medicines from now on.
“It means the CBI, as the economic lever and tool of foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, is not allowed to buy food and drugs for Iranian people,” said the top diplomat.
Meanwhile, Zarif touched upon recent remarks by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who had said, “If you (Iran) want your people to eat, you have to change your policy.”
Zarif noted all these developments show Washington’s move is tantamount to economic terrorism.
Despite what the US officials claim, the US-made medications are hard to obtain reportedly due to banking sanctions that hamper money transactions which causes some Western companies to refuse to sell the necessary drugs and medical equipment to Iran.
Tensions have been running high between Tehran and Washington since last year, when Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and unleashed the “toughest ever” sanctions against the Islamic Republic.