Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday the country is in a battle with the United States, but vowed that the nation will be able to handle the economic pressure of new US sanctions.
In a televised speech, President Rouhani said the US is trying to damage the country by creating a “psychological, economic and political warfare.”
“Today, can America use psychological and economic and eventually political warfare to break our nation? A proud nation that has stood up for its values throughout history; a nation that has resisted and stood strong and is ready to give its life and blood for Islam and Iran,” he said.
“The US cannot defeat our nation, our enemies are not able to get us to their knees,” he added.
Rouhani said the US withdrew from the multilateral nuclear deal with Iran, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) at a great cost.
“The Islamic Republic’s tactful performance forced the Americans to leave the JCPOA while bearing the highest cost,” he said, referring to the nuclear agreement that was signed between Tehran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany in 2015.
According to Iran’s president, the withdrawal was “the worst and most pathetic choice” made by Americans, which hurt their reputation on the international stage.
The agreement, which ended nuclear-related sanctions against Iran in exchange for certain changes to the country’s nuclear program, was passed in the form of a UN Security Council resolution.
US President Donald Trump, however, sparked international criticism when he announced that Washington was withdrawing from the deal and re-imposing the sanctions against Iran in early May.
Rouhani further said the US was hoping all along that Iran too would leave the agreement shortly so the country’s case could be referred to the Security Council and made subject to Chapter VII of the UN Charter – which authorizes the use of force.
With that scenario in mind, the US planned to persuade all world countries to bring the Islamic Republic under sanctions, President Rouhani said.
He also assured Iranians that the government was able to handle the economic pressure the country would face with the return of the US sanctions.