Renewed oil sanctions against Iran that begin Nov. 4 are a “new instance of oppression” by the U.S. and a sign it is “in retreat,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday.
The sanctions bar countries from trading with Iran for crude oil exports, and are designed to pressure Tehran into renegotiating a new nuclear deal. They overturn the Obama-era softening of trade with the Middle East state and fulfill a campaign promise made by U.S. President Donald Trump.
Rouhani said in a televised address Wednesday those sanctions will not work.
“We are certain that the Americans will fail in their new plot, and that they are actually in gradual retreat,” Rouhani said. “We tell them that ‘You will not reach any of your goals with regard to Iran’s oil sales. You will neither be able to bring it to zero nor reduce it.’”
Rouhani said the sanctions will backfire because Iranian citizens love their country.
Under existing U.S.-imposed sanctions, Iran’s currency has already fallen 70 percent against the U.S. dollar. As a result, the costs of medicine, food and other products has increased as the economy stalls, as President Trump has noted:
Iran, and it’s economy, is going very bad, and fast! I will meet, or not meet, it doesn’t matter – it is up to them!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 4, 2018
This is not the first time Rouhani has claimed that the U.S. has a limited future.
Apparently triggered by the reimposition of sanctions and ongoing protests over the nation’s depleted economy, Rouhani went on a tirade against the U.S. in June where he said his regime would “bring America to its knees” and suggested that half of America’s population is “ashamed of their government.”
Speaking in an address on state television in Iran, Rouhani said Iranians must stand together to withstand pressure and “bring America to its knees,” according to Reuters. He reportedly added, “We will take problems. We will take pressure. But we will not sacrifice our independence.”
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Bahram Qassemi joined in the latest chorus of condemnation on Thursday, saying the U.S. is seeking to wage a psychological war on Iran.
The semi-official Iranian newsagency ISNA reports he fears an era of “pscychological warfare” again Iran.
“The American officials are seeking to find a pretext to cover up their crimes against the people in the region and Iran, using economic terrorism and oppressive and illegal sanctions as a tool,” he said.
“They are trying to launch a psychological war against Iran, turning a deaf ear to international reactions well as criticisms of the US’s confrontational and inhumane sanctions from countries and human rights institutions,” he added.
Meanwhile, negotiations between Iran and the E.U. aimed at establishing a special payments channel to evade President Donald Trump’s sanctions against Tehran are well underway, Iranian deputy Minister of Petroleum, Amir Hossein Zamaninia confirmed last month.
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