The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned Iran's foreign minister under an executive order signed by President Donald Trump in June directed at the country's supreme leader following attacks on a U.S. Navy drone and tankers near the Strait of Hormuz.
Treasury has sanctioned Javad Zarif because he, "implements the reckless agenda of Iran's Supreme Leader, and is the regime's primary spokesperson around the world," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.
A senior administration official said during a July 31 press call that the sanctions are building momentum on the White House's maximum pressure campaign against Iran.
"For far too long, he has been indulged as the reasonable and credible official representative of Iran," the official said of Zarif. "We will continue to build on our maximum pressure campaign until Iran abandons it reckless foreign policy that threatens the United States and our allies."