Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani says the “oppressive” US sanctions will only harm the Iranian people, giving assurances that the country will prevail over the restrictive measures and will continue to sell its oil.
“The Americans thought they could completely cut Iran’s oil exports, but they realized themselves in the days [ahead of the reimposition of the sanctions] that this is neither practical nor possible,” he told a cabinet meeting in Tehran on Wednesday, referring to the waivers the US has granted to major buyers of Iranian crude after the sanctions against Tehran snapped back into place on November 5.
Rouhani further emphasized that the US sanctions will fail to affect Iran’s oil sales, saying, “We have so many ways of selling oil, and that will render their sanctions ineffective.”
The Iranians, Rouhani added, have sent the US a very clear and decisive signal that “We will sell our oil and will preserve our financial relations with the world.”
He also noted that the American pressure campaign will definitely fail as Iranian government institutions have been “firmly standing up against the US.”
America has chosen the wrong path in sanctioning Iran and has further exposed its true face to the world in doing so, he pointed out.
“Today, it is clear to everyone that these wrong and oppressive sanctions will harm the dear and noble people of Iran,” Rouhani said.
Additionally, he said, the US main objective in reimposing the sanctions is to damage Iran’s independence, noting that the only way to counter the bans is through reliance on domestic capacities.
The punitive measures reinstated by the current US administration target 700 individuals, banks, aircraft, ships and companies tied to Iran’s energy and financial industries.
The sanctions came six months after Washington scrapped the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), despite international objections.
The first round was reimposed in August.
US National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Tuesday that Washington will “squeeze” the Iranians “very hard.”
He said Washington’s ultimate aim was to zero Iran’s oil exports. The US has already given waivers to eight importers of Iranian crude since the sanctions took effect early this month.