Rouhani Says US Sanctions Targeting Iranian People

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday (Nov 10) that USA sanctions announced last week have had no effect on Iran's economy because Washington had already practically reimposed them earlier.

"The sanctions have had no impact on our economy because America had already used all the weapons at its disposal and there was nothing new to use against us", Rouhani said in remarks carried live on state television. These are second batch of sanctions that have been imposed by the present U.S. government after withdrawal from previous government's landmark accord.

The administration of US President Donald Trump announced on November 5 the re-imposition of the "toughest" sanctions ever against Iran's banking and energy sectors with the aim of cutting off its oil sales and crucial exports.

"We've seen indications that it has affected their belligerent activity in Iraq, Syria and Yemen".

Last week, sweeping sanctions were imposed on Iran following the U.S. withdrawal from a denuclearization deal.

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"The US has left just enough breathing room to continue implementing the JCPOA from a technical level", Ellie Geranmayeh, a senior fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, said by phone on Monday.

The new sanctions have sparked furious reactions from Tehran, where Rouhani said his country would "proudly bypass your illegal, unjust sanctions". Mohammad Javad Zarif accused Mike Pompeo of desperately trying to impose U.S. whims on Iran. "Our ultimate goal is to encourage them to abandon their revolutionary course", Pompeo told reporters.

The Gulf nation has hardly any purchasing power and can hardly find any foreign suppliers willing to risk USA sanctions to work with them, which has led to rising cost of goods, high inflation, and decreased employment.

Tehran condemns Washington's starvation threat, saying Iran will survive despite United States sanctions. The US said the case was "meritless" and only involved a few sanctions.

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