IRAN/SANCTIONS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The United States on Wednesday [7-31-19] imposed sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, an extraordinary move that could vastly complicate President Donald Trump’s stated desire to launch new negotiations with Iran. The sanctions are sure to further escalate tensions between Washington and Tehran — strains that have grown since Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal last year and which some fear could ultimately lead to a military conflict. In June, Trump imposed sanctions targeting Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Muslim cleric with final word on matters of state. The decision to target Zarif, the Iranian regime’s well-traveled chief diplomat, cuts off the man who has directly negotiated with the U.S. in recent years…The Zarif sanctions come as the Trump administration is expected to renew waivers on a handful of nuclear-related projects in Iran over the vociferous objections of hawks in the U.S. who say eliminating the waivers is necessary to further pressure the regime in Tehran.”

Nahal Toosi and Katy O’Donnell, “Trump sanctions Iran’s chief diplomat,” Politico, July 31, 2019 8:49 pm