Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Monday said Tehran would “proudly bypass” sanctions reimposed by United States on the isolated nation, AFP reported. The Iranian president referred to US President Donald Trump’s decision to impose restrictions as “illegal and unjust”.
Trump, who reimposed the sanctions last week, said Iran was already grappling with the curbs. “We will see what happens with Iran, but they are not doing very well, I can tell you,” BBC quoted him as saying.
On Friday, United States Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin had announced a resumption of sanctions that were imposed on Iran prior to the signing of the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal, AP reported. The curbs, which cover the shipping, financial and energy sectors, came into force on Monday.
The US’ curbs are aimed at “fundamentally altering the behaviour of the Islamic Republic of Iran”, Pompeo had said. The US has placed 12 demands that Tehran must meet to get the sanctions lifted, including ending support for terrorism and ending military engagement in Syria.
Rouhani made the statement against “bullying power” United States during a meeting with economists that was broadcast on state television. “America wanted to cut to zero Iran’s oil sales, but we will continue to sell our oil to break sanctions,” Rouhani said. “We are in a situation of economic war, confronting a bullying power. I don’t think that in the history of America, someone has entered the White House who is so against law and international conventions.”
Thousands of Iranians staged a protest against the United States and chanted “death to America” on Sunday.
Iran’s military said it conducted air defence drills on Monday and will continue to do so on Tuesday to showcase its capability, BBC reported.
Iranian state television broadcasst footage of air defence systems and anti-aircraft batteries practising military manoeuvres, The Guardian reported. Iranian Army General Habibillah Sayyari said the Army and the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard’s were participating in the exercise.
Meanwhile, the European Union’s economic affairs commissioner criticised Washington’s sanctions. “The European Union does not approve of it,” Pierre Moscovici said.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Bahram Qasemi said Tehran was “in regular contact with other signatories of the nuclear deal” but added that “setting up [a] mechanism to continue trade with the European Union will take time”.