Trump has taken an intense interest in the case, initially at the behest of reality TV star Kim Kardashian and her husband, rapper Kanye West, who appealed to Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who has worked with Kardashian on prison reform issues (follow that?). In what has become an improbable diplomatic dust-up with a longtime international partner nation, Trump has tweeted several times calling for Rocky’s release. He tweeted that he was “disappointed” in Prime Minister Stefan Lofven and later insulted the relationship between the United States and the Scandinavian country....Rocky’s trial is expected to wrap up Friday.
A Treasury Department statement said Zarif was sanctioned because he “acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly” Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, who was sanctioned in late June. At that time, Mnuchin said measures would also be taken against Zarif, but they were delayed after State Department officials argued that would close the door to diplomacy....An administration official said Trump remains ready to speak with Iranian leaders — just not Zarif.Asked whether sanctioning Iran’s chief diplomat would limit U.S. ability to negotiate with Iran, if negotiations ever take place, a senior administration official said, “If we do have an official contact with Iran, we would want to have contact with someone who is a significant decision-maker.”....When Zarif visited New York earlier this month on official U.N. business, Pompeo complained about all the interviews he granted to American journalists. Pompeo said that out of fairness, he should be allowed to address Iranian citizens directly on state television.
The US' reason for designating me is that I am Iran's "primary spokesperson around the world"— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) July 31, 2019
Is the truth really that painful?
It has no effect on me or my family, as I have no property or interests outside of Iran.
Thank you for considering me such a huge threat to your agenda.