Iran foreign minister says he received US sanctions after rejecting White House invite

Iran foreign minister says he received US sanctions after rejecting White House invite
© ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Monday that he was sanctioned by the United States after refusing an invitation to visit the White House.

"I also said that while @realdonaldtrump may want photo op, the US isn't interested in talks; rather, Iran's submission," Zarif tweeted, detailing his speech at a press conference in Tehran.

"That will never happen. An example of US tactics: Threatening to designate somebody in two weeks unless he accepts your invitation to chat in the Oval Office."

The Trump administration last week announced sanctions on Zarif.

The Treasury Department said in a statement that it imposed sanctions on Zarif because he "acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran."

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The sanctions will freeze all of Zarif’s U.S. assets and prohibit any U.S. person or entity from dealings with him.

A senior administration official on Tuesday said Zarif's comments linking sanctions to a White House invitation were "patently false."

The sanctions on Zarif come at a crucial time for Washington-Tehran tensions dating back to President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 panel faces double-edged sword with Alex Jones, Roger Stone Trump goes after Woodward, Costa over China Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves MORE's withdrawal last year from the 2015 nuclear deal.

Iran announced last month that it would increase its uranium enrichment and stockpiles; a nuclear monitor confirmed earlier this month that Iran had surpassed enrichment levels agreed to in the deal.

Updated at 3:59 p.m. on Tuesday.