Speaking at a cabinet meeting in Tehran on Wednesday, Rouhani said the US made “a strategic mistake” in 2018, when it unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal and re-imposed economic sanctions against Iran.
He added that the Americans imagined that they could bring down the Iranian nation to its knees through economic pressure and oppressive sanctions, but the people have resisted over the past three and a half years.
“Although the Americans caused difficulties for us, they will not achieve their objective,” said Rouhani, adding that they “totally embarrassed themselves at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), in the entire world, and even in the eyes of their own nation.”
“They must now be regretting what they did and they will certainly need to reverse [what they have done]. They will definitely return [from that path]. That path is a dead end for the US. America has no other way but to reverse course, otherwise it will hit a wall,” the president said.
Since leaving the JCPOA in May 2018, the administration of US President Donald Trump has dialed up efforts to kill the nuclear accord, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
In August, Washington proposed a resolution to extend the UN arms embargo on Iran due to expire on October 18 under UNSC Resolution 2231, which endorsed the JCPOA.
However, it suffered an embarrassing defeat as Russia and China voted against the resolution and the remaining 11 council members, including France, Germany and the UK, abstained.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo then filed an official complaint with UNSC President Dian Triansyah Djani, accusing Iran of violating the JCPOA.
He claimed that Washington was still a participant in the JCPOA and therefore retained the right to activate a 30-day countdown to a return of all UN sanctions that had been imposed on Tehran before the nuclear agreement.
But, the remaining signatories to the JCPOA maintained that since the United States had left the accord, it had no right to act under its provisions and could not trigger the so-called snapback of sanctions.