“The 13th of Aban [Nov. 4] of this year signifies a new injustice from the Americans,” Rouhani said, referring to the date when the United States is set to reimpose sanctions on Iran’s oil sector.
“Our people need to rest assured that the government is not afraid of US threats,” he added during his address to the weekly cabinet session on Wednesday.
“In the past few months our people have faced difficult times and it’s possible that the next few months will be difficult. But the government will use all its power to reduce these problems.”
The president said that representatives of various countries, including Asian and European ones, had sent messages of assurance to the Islamic Republic “that they will stand by and continue their cooperation with Iran.”
“We are certain that the Americans will fail in their new plot, and that they are actually in gradual retreat,” the president said.
President Rouhani recalled that US officials first said that they would reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero, but then retracted their statement, saying that the process could take two to three months.
“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 stated.
By escalating psychological and economic pressure, the US has been seeking to anger the Iranian people, President Rouhani said, adding, however, that Iranians will be angry at Washington’s atrocities rather than their own Islamic establishment and country. “Because they [the Iranian people] love their country,” the president said.
‘Setbacks to be overcome’
Rouhani said that Iran could easily overcome the setbacks because it enjoys lasting relations with its trade partners, whereas the US pressure is only temporary.
“The US will raise a hue and cry for a few days, but will have to eventually leave [the region], because they cannot make decisions for the people of the region,” Rouhani noted.
Washington reimposed a number of sanctions on Iran in May after pulling out of the multilateral 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.
Other parties to the deal – the UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany – have collectively censured the US withdrawal, stressing that the agreement had been ratified in the form of a United Nations Security Council, and thus the US departure violates international law.
Iran began selling crude oil to private companies for export on Sunday as part of a strategy to counter the planned sanctions.
“You will not be able to reach any of your goals with regard to Iran’s oil,” Rouhani said. “You will not be able to bring it to zero or reduce it.”
Separately, Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Wednesday 280,000 barrels of oil had been sold on Iran’s energy bourse and an additional 720,000 barrels would be offered for sale again on the exchange.
European powers will implement a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) under consideration to facilitate trade with Iran next week, Mahmoud Vaezi, the president’s chief of staff, said Wednesday.
The SPV aims to keep trade flowing when US sanctions hit Tehran.
European diplomats have described the SPV proposal as a means to create a barter system, similar to one used by the Soviet Union during the Cold War, to exchange Iranian oil for European goods without money changing hands.
Press TV and Reuters contributed to this story.