President Hassan Rouhani said Monday the era of pressure against the Iranian nation will sooner or later be over as the Islamic Republic’s enemies have realized that they cannot bend Iranians to their will.
“I declare here unequivocally that the era of pressure and sanctions against the Iranian nation will come to an end,” the president said.
“The reason is that our ill-wishers and enemies have found out that they cannot force us to capitulate under maximum pressure,” he noted, while addressing an event to mark the National Day of Petrochemical Industries in Tehran.
The United States launched the “maximum pressure” campaign under President Donald Trump. The policy saw Washington leaving a multilateral and UN-ratified nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic last year, and returning the sanctions that the deal had lifted.
Washington then began pressuring its allies to toe its sanction line by halting trade with Tehran.
Rouhani described the campaign as “an all-out economic war,” which not only had fallen short of its objective, but also would continue to prove futile.
He said efforts to rally international support behind the campaign and put a legal spin on it had failed to bear fruit either.
“They sought to turn this war into a political one, and force all the world to stand behind them against us, but failed,” the president noted. “They sought to turn this war into a legal one by having the UN and international institutions [move to] condemn us. They failed in the latter bid too.”
Even the US closest allies, Rouhani said, acknowledge that Washington has committed a mistake in undertaking the campaign and fallen short of its objectives.
Rouhani also rejected criticism of under-performance by his government, saying some of the pledges at the onset of the government’s formation had been given “in peacetime.”
“It is wartime now, which entails its own circumstances,” the president said.
He reiterated though that Iran had not been the party to launch the war.
President Rouhani also hailed the Iranian people for coming out victorious in the face of the US-led campaign through their “brave and attentive” performance, and their “alertness,” which saw them telling friend and foe apart, and not deviate from their path.
The Iranian people did not “roll out the red carpet” to welcome foreign interference in domestic affairs, as the enemies had expected would happen within five to six months of the launch of the pressure campaign, he said.
Rouhani said Iran’s has reached an annual production capacity of petrochemicals which are $17 billion as the country is hit by US sanctions.
He said Iran aims to increase the production to reach $25 billion worth of petrochemicals by 2022 and $37 billion afterwards.
We achieved this success as we faced economic sanctions and heavy pressure, as we face many difficulties due to unfair and cruel sanctions to attract capital, export products and bring back revenues to the country,” the president said.
Rouhani said Iran is currently the second largest producers of petrochemicals in the Middle East but seeks to become the first one.
Press TV contributed to this story.