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Zarif Urges Stopping US’ ‘Unceasing Insanity’ in Wake of Sanctions Targeting ICC

Zarif Urges Stopping US’ ‘Unceasing Insanity’ in Wake of Sanctions Targeting ICC
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By Staff, Agencies

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif slammed Washington’s move to impose sanctions on two International Criminal Court [ICC] officials, stressing the need to stop the US’ “unceasing insanity”.

“US is imposing sanctions on ICC's chief prosecutor. Began w/individuals, escalated to small, medium & major powers; and NOW int'l personalities,” Zarif said in a post on his Twitter account on Wednesday.

“The only way to stop this unceasing insanity is to stop complacency. Submitting for fear of US wrath only INCREASES its appetite,” he added.

The ICC condemned the “unprecedented” sanctions imposed by the United States on prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and one of her top aides in retaliation for a probe into war crimes in Afghanistan.

The Hague-based tribunal said the sanctions announced by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo against Bensouda and another senior official, Phakiso Mochochoko, were “serious attacks” against the rule of law.

Pompeo announced the moves on Wednesday, saying that “the ICC continues to target Americans”.

The ICC said in a statement the new measures “are another attempt to interfere with the Court's judicial and prosecutorial independence and crucial work to address grave crimes of concern to the international community”.

The sanctions include a freeze on assets held in the US or subject to US law and target Bensouda and the court's head of jurisdiction, Mochochoko.

Pompeo also said individuals and entities that continue to materially support Bensouda and Mochochoko would risk exposure to sanctions as well.

The war crimes court said it “continues to stand firmly by its personnel and its mission of fighting impunity for the world's most serious crimes”.