Hook: US sanctions deny Iran the revenue it needs to fund its proxies

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The United States envoy on Iran, Brian Hook, said on Tuesday that sanctions have denied the Iranian regime the revenues it needs to fund Tehran’s proxies in the Middle East.

“We have worked with partners in the region to deny Iran the revenue that it needs to run its foreign policy and to fund its proxies,” Hook told reporters during a press briefing at the New York Foreign Press Center.

“We have prevented billions of dollars from reaching the Revolutionary Guards and the Iranian Treasury … Iran used to transfer $700 million to Hezbollah annually,” Hook said.

Comments made by Washington’s special representative on Iran came as Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is expected to visit Paris and meet with his counterpart and the French president on Friday.

Responding to US sanctions – as well as perceived inaction by European partners to counter the measures – Iran announced in May it would stop observing restrictions on its stocks of enriched uranium and heavy water agreed under the deal.

Responding to a question on Zarif, Hook cast doubt on Iran’s claim of self-defense and described the Iranian foreign minister’s statements as falsehoods.

“You will often hear Iran Foreign Minister Zarif say that their policies are meant to be in self-defense. It is hard for me to understand how the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism is entitled to a claim of self-defense,” Hook said.

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