“The Americans will definitely be defeated on this path. The path they have chosen is wrong and incorrect,” Rouhani told a cabinet meeting in Tehran. “If they are being honest and they are looking for regional security, this is not the path. If they are being honest and respect the Iranian people, this is not the path.”
Rouhani said the “cruel” US sanctions will only harm the Iranian people.
He added, “They have made themselves more infamous in the world and in front of our people. It’s clear for everyone that the incorrect and cruel sanctions of America will harm the dear and honorable people of our country.”
President Donald Trump reimposed sanctions after he withdrew the United States from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, reached before he took office. The other signatories – Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China remain committed to the deal. Iran has said it will stay in it only if the other powers preserve its economic benefits for Iran against US pressure.
Washington reinstated sanctions targeting Iran’s oil industry on Nov. 5 as it seeks to force the Islamic Republic to accept tougher curbs on its nuclear program, halt its development of ballistic missiles as well as its regional activities.
US national security adviser John Bolton said Tuesday that Washington intends to step up enforcement of sanctions on Iran and “squeeze them until the pips squeak.”
The sanctions reinstated by the current US administration target 700 individuals, banks, aircraft, ships and companies tied to Iran’s energy and financial industries.
Rouhani, however, gave assurances that Iran 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 said, referring to the waivers which 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 that would render their sanctions ineffective.”
The Iranians, Rouhani added, have sent the US a very clear and decisive signal: “We will sell our oil and will preserve our financial relations with the world.”
Additionally, he said, the main US 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.
Rouhani also noted that the American pressure campaign will definitely fail as Iranian government institutions have been “firmly standing up against the US.”
Reuters and Press TV contributed to this story.