15 August 2019

 

Predictions

  • US sanctions on Foreign Minister Zarif will complicate diplomatic efforts to ease tensions and further entrench resistance to Washington
  • Iran will continue efforts to harass shipping in and around Strait of Hormuz, particularly targeting vessels associated with US allies
  • US efforts to establish naval protection force will raise risk of accidental escalation, but Washington will be cautious over reported Israeli participation

Analysis

The US Treasury imposed sanctions on Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohamad Javed Zarif on 31 July, claiming he “implements the reckless agenda” of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. The move freezes any US assets Zarif holds and restricts his ability to travel. The decision was condemned from Tehran, with Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Revolutionary Guard’s (IRGC) Quds force, calling the sanctions “illegal” and “insane” on 5 August. Separately, Israeli media reported on 6 August that the country’s Foreign Minister had told…

 

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