World News

Sanctioning Iran's Khamenei is an attack on the nation - government spokesman

FILE PHOTO: Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during Friday prayers in Tehran September 14, 2007. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl//File Photo

GENEVA (Reuters) - U.S. sanctions against Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei are an attack against the nation, Iran’s government spokesman Ali Rabiei tweeted on Tuesday.

“Sanctioning #the_supreme_leader ,who for the first time issued Fatwa against all forms of #WMD, is a direct attack to a nation. This action will increase the unity of Iranian people,” he wrote in English.

Rabiei said in a separate tweet that if the United States issues sanctions against Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, it would show Washington is not interested in negotiating.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said on Monday that Zarif will be placed under sanctions this week.

“#Trump claims he wants to negotiate and at the same time he put sanctions on negotiators. Sanctioning @JZarif shows all his claims are superficial and he is afraid of our #logical_diplomacy. Destroying US drone, put chaos on all US narratives about diplomacy,” Rabiei tweeted.

Reporting By Babak Dehghanpisheh; Editing by Catherine Evans