U.S. sanctions Iran’s central bank to please Saudis, ex-diplomat says

September 22, 2019 - 22:25

TEHRAN - Abdolreza Faraji-Rad, Iran’s former ambassador to Norway, has said that the United States imposed sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) to please the Saudi rulers.

“The United States seeks to persuade Saudis that it takes actions like that in return for receiving money from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates,” Faraji-Rad told ISNA in an interview published on Sunday.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that he has ordered sanctions on Iran’s central bank at “the highest level.” Trump, who had initially imposed the sanctions applied to Iran’s central bank, said the new penalties on Iran mark the “highest sanctions ever imposed on a country.”

Trump’s move came after Yemenis made drone attacks on the Aramco oil facilities in Saudi Arabia on September 14.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday that the U.S. values oil more than the lives of the Arab people, criticizing Washington’s hypocrisy regarding the war on Yemen.

“Arab blood vs. Arab oil / A primer on U.S. policy: 4 years of indiscriminate bombardment of Yemen, 100,000 dead Yemenis, 20M malnourished Yemenis, 2.3M cholera cases, carte (blanche) for culprits,” Zarif tweeted.

Washington has claimed that Iran was involved in the attacks, an accusation Iran has called “maximum deceit”.

Iran has officially presented a letter to the Swiss embassy in Tehran strongly warning U.S. officials against their claims that Iran had a role in the attacks on the Saudi Aramco oil facilities. 

The letter was submitted to the Swiss ambassador to Tehran whose country represents the U.S. interests in Iran.