Jannati mocks U.S. ban, says ‘I cannot go to the U.S. for Christmas anymore’

February 21, 2020 - 18:36

TEHRAN — Chief of the Guardian Council Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati has made fun of a recent move by the U.S. government to impose sanctions against the council’s members, including himself, saying he can no longer go to the U.S. for Christmas celebrations.

“They have sanctioned us, now I’m thinking what we should do with all the money we have in American banks, and also we can no longer go to Christmas celebrations in the U.S.,” Jannati said at a polling station in Tehran on Friday, Tasnim reported.

He said stupidity has no boundaries, while referring to U.S. President Donald Trump, adding, “After all, what harm do we suffer from this sanction?”

The Treasury Department said in a statement on Friday that it had imposed sanctions on the members of the Guardian Council and its Elections Supervision Committee over the council’s role in disqualifying the candidates.

“The Trump Administration will not tolerate the manipulation of elections to favor the regime’s malign agenda, and this action exposes those senior regime officials responsible for preventing the Iranian people from freely choosing their leaders,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.

“The United States will continue to support the democratic aspirations of Iranians,” he added.

The U.S. sanctions targeted Ayatollah Jannati, Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi, a member of the Guardian Council who was formerly Iran's first Judiciary Chief, and three members of the Elections Supervisory Committee, according to Reuters.

The bans freeze any American-held assets of the officials and generally bar American citizens from doing business with them.

The Guardian Council has said that the vetting process for the candidates in the elections was solely based on law and had nothing to do with the political factions the nominees represent. 

The sanctions were first announced by the U.S. special representative for Iran, Brian Hook, on Thursday, a day before a key parliamentary vote in Iran.

Hook accused the Iranian officials of preventing free and fair elections by disqualifying a number of candidates. 

He also labeled Friday’s general elections as a “political theater.” 

Earlier this week, Hook made similar remarks about Iran’s polls, which were dismissed by Iran’s Foreign Ministry as nonsense.


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