Rouhani dismisses U.S. sanctions as internal ‘political propaganda’

October 9, 2020 - 21:16

TEHRAN – In his first response to the new sanctions the U.S. imposed on Iran on Thursday, President Hassan Rouhani said these sanctions were imposed to serve political goals in the United States.

“The measures of the U.S. administration are taken within the purview of propaganda and political efforts which are meant to serve their internal goals,” the president was quoted by the presidential website as saying on Friday, adding that the Americans cannot break the resistance of the Iranian people through making troubles in the path of medicines and food supply.

Rouhani made the remarks in a conversation with Abdolnasser Hemmati, the governor of the Central Bank of Iran.

On Friday, the U.S. Treasury Department slapped new sanctions on Iran, targeting “eighteen major Iranian banks.”

Under the new sanctions, “all property and interests in property of designated targets that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC. OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all dealings by U.S. persons or within the United States (including transactions transiting the United States) that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons,” according to a Treasury statement.

U.S. Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin said the restrictions were meant to sever Iran’s ties with the global financial system.

“Today, U.S. Treasury took further action to isolate the Iranian economy from the global financial system as the regime uses the financial sector to advance its malign agenda,” tweeted Mnuchin.

Rouhani described these sanctions as “cruel, terrorist and inhumane,” saying the Americans cannot break the resistance of the Iranian people.

According to Rouhani, the new sanctions came in continuation of the U.S. “strategic mistake” in withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“The U.S. administration mistakenly believed that these sanctions will break the resistance of Iran and get us into trouble. But as time passed it became clear that this analysis was very far from reality and thus didn’t work,” he stated.

The president pointed out that the U.S. will face defeat every time they repeat their strategic mistakes.

Rouhani added, “All countries see that these U.S. measures are in full violation of the law and international regulations. These Washington measures are completely inhumane given the coronavirus circumstances. Human rights advocates in the world should condemn these measures.”

For his part, the CBI governor said the new U.S. sanctions didn’t affect the existing exemptions for medicines and basic goods.

“The banks that were designated under secondary sanctions are still using SWIFT and will continue financing the basic goods,” the CBI governor said.

However, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the fresh U.S. sanctions are meant to cut off Iran’s remaining channels to pay for humanitarian goods.

“Amid Covid-19 pandemic, U.S. regime wants to blow up our remaining channels to pay for food & medicine. Iranians WILL survive this latest of cruelties. But conspiring to starve a population is a crime against humanity. Culprits & enablers—who block our money—WILL face justice,” Zarif tweeted on Thursday.

SM/PA

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