United States imposes sanctions against governor of Iran's Central Bank

President Donald Trump meets with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the Oval Office of the White House Friday

The sanctions against the high-level Iranian official are the first since US President Donald Trump announced his withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal, however the new administration has both drafted and passed several new sanctions bills as part of a more aggressive stance towards Hezbollah.

The United States on Tuesday designated the head of Iran's central bank a "specially designated global terrorist".

The United States classifies Lebanon's Shi'ite Muslim movement Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran, as a terrorist organization.

Since leaving the deal, the Trump administration's plan has been to reimpose the sanctions lifted under the deal while also imposing secondary sanctions against countries that choose to trade with Iran. Seif, whose position is equal to the Federal Reserve chairman within the USA, oversees main monetary selections in Iran.

The exact ramifications of the sanctions for Iran's economy were not immediately clear. "The worldwide neighborhood should stay vigilant towards Iran's misleading efforts to supply monetary help to its terrorist proxies".

Trump had threatened for more than a year to abandon the deal.

Last week, the White House issued a statement condemning Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps.

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There was no immediate comment Tuesday night from Iranian officials. Iranian media initially reported the choice based mostly on reviews within the global media. The Iraqi bank and its chairman also are being punished with sanctions.

Tuesday's action seeks to cut off what the U.S. called a "critical" banking network for Iran, and deny that blacklisted access to the global financial system.

The statement said the designations "do not extend" to the Central Bank of Iran. Seif often visits Washington to attend conferences of the Worldwide Financial Fund. On Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was meeting in Brussels with the top French, British and German diplomats as the Europeans seek to keep Iran from bailing on the deal.

In a 2016 assembly of the Council on International Relation in Washington, Seif mentioned Iran achieved "virtually nothing" from the deal.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin accused bank chief Valiollah Seif of covertly funneling money on behalf of the revolutionary guard's external arm, Quds Force (IRGC-QF), through Al-Bilad Islamic Bank "to enrich and support the violent and radical agenda of Hezbollah".

The U.S. Treasury also blacklisted Ali Tarzali, assistant director of the worldwide department of Iran's central bank, and the chairman of Al-Bilad Islamic Bank, Aras Habib.

For firms already operating in Iran, there is a period of 3 to 6 months to end the business, otherwise they will be denied access to the United States market. Most recently, the US has been concerned about the role that Hezbollah fighters are playing in Syria to help prop up President Bashar Assad.

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