Iranian lawmakers are preparing to issue a salvo of sanctions on top Trump administration figures and their supporters in Congress, according to reports in the country's state-controlled press that have already elicited reaction from those officials targeted.
Iran's parliament has set the stage for Tehran to sanction White House National Security Adviser John Bolton, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) for what Iranian officials have described as their "long record of animosity towards Iran."
The sanctions would ban each of the Americans from ever traveling to Iran, bar them from engaging in any sort of talks with Iranian regime figures, and deny them the ability to trade with any Iranian entity.
"The bill calls for lifetime bans on U.S. National Security Adviser John R. Bolton, U.S. Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin, and American senator Ted Cruz and their family members' traveling to Iran, in a reaction to Washington's embargos on Iranian officials, and these figures' strong hostile measures against Iran in the past few years," Iran's state-controlled Fars News Agency reported, adding the measure is payback for Bolton, Mnuchin, and Cruz seeking to isolate the Islamic Republic.
Cruz, speaking through a spokesman, brushed off the Iranian sanctions, telling the Washington Free Beacon he has no interest in traveling or speaking to a country that wants "to use nuclear weapons to attack American cities."
"Senator Cruz already avoids travel to terrorist regimes that take American citizens hostage and want to use nuclear weapons to attack American cities," a spokesman for Cruz told the Free Beacon on Saturday. "He urges all Americans to do the same, especially since interacting with Iran's economy in any way carries significant sanctions risk, including some sanctions that he's personally helped author and more that he intends to introduce in the near future."
The White House and State Department did not immediately respond to press inquiries on the matter.
One U.S. official who works on Iran issues mocked the Islamic Republic for failing to understand the basics of international diplomacy and the American political system.
The decision to include Treasury Secretary Mnuchin in the sanctions, the source said, is peculiar, particularly in light of a series of stories identifying him as working behind the scenes to preserve the Iran nuclear deal and minimize sanctions on Iran.
"Everyone's laughing at them, including because they have no idea how the United States, let alone this administration actually makes decisions," the source said, speaking only on background. "The only reason the Iran deal still exists in its current form is because Mnuchin reversed the decision to end waivers for Iran's nuclear program. Maybe this will make him reconsider."