Rouhani made the remarks in an address via videoconference to the 10th summit of the D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation, also known as Developing-8, on Thursday.
“Here, I am honored to announce that all illegal unilateral measures taken by the United States to bring the Iranian nation to its knees have failed,” Iran’s president told the D-8 participants.
“Despite suffering heavy economic pressures, we have been able by relying on our own domestic will and capabilities to break remarkable grounds in various fields, including in the field of fighting the COVID-19 and its aftereffects,” he said.
Rouhani said while the world economy shrank by 3.5 percent and many countries experienced negative economic growth of five to 10 percent, the Iranian economy grew by more than 2 percent in the same period.
This clearly attests to the failure of the United States in its economic war against Iran, he added.
The United States began imposing heavy economic sanctions against Iran in 2018 after former US President Donald Trump scrapped the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the 2015 Iran nuclear deal signed with world powers.
While the Trump administration described its anti-Iran measures as the “maximum pressure” policy, Tehran slammed the measures as “economic war,” “economic terrorism” and also “medical terrorism,” maintaining that the sanctions have severely harmed Iranians but failed to bring the nation to its knees.
Meanwhile, the new US administration of Joe Biden has conceded that the so-called maximum pressure campaign has failed, promising to replace it with a new policy.
“In the last four years, the international community has witnessed the intensification of the US government’s economic war against Iran. These cruel sanctions have caused great damage to our country,” Rouhani noted.
Despite US efforts, “the nuclear deal, which the United States violated and did its utmost to destroy, has been preserved thanks to the wisdom of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he added.
The president underlined that Washington is obligated to return to the JCPOA by lifting all anti-Iran sanctions and taking practical measures to secure Iran’s interests under the nuclear pact because “this is the duty of the same government that has reneged on the agreement.”
“The Islamic Republic, for its part, will definitely respond to such US action with a positive reciprocal measure,” he asserted.
Diplomats from Iran and five other remaining parties to the JCPOA gathered in Vienna this week to work out a way to revive the deal through a US return to the deal as well as Iran’s resumption of all of its nuclear obligations, which it partially suspended in response to the US withdrawal and its reimposition of sanctions.
In recent days, Iran has rejected direct and indirect talks with the US as long as Washington remains in violation of the JCPOA.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani further denounced unilateralism and economic terrorism as issues that go hand in hand with the coronavirus in harming the international community.
These actions, he continued, not only illegally target ruling governments and independent nations, but also pose a serious threat to the achievements of the international community.
The Iranian president also pointed to the issue of organized Islamophobia in the world, saying that in addition to targeting Islam’s lofty values and dignity, Islamophobia has also had far-reaching negative economic impacts on Islamic countries.