Rouhani blasts US sanctions against Iran as a careless ‘crime’
Iran's president has called on the international community to defy Washington’s stated intention of choking Iranian oil exports, describing the plan as a careless act of criminal aggression without regard for the consequences.
Speaking during his visit to Vienna on Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani described US sanctions against Iran as “crime and aggression,” adding that Washington had not thought through the consequences of its plan to undermine Iranian oil exports.
“The Americans say they want to reduce Iranian oil exports to zero. They have talked without thinking carefully,” Rouhani said. “It shows they have not thought about its consequences.”
The Iranian leader added that Iran will outlast the current American administration.
“Iran will survive this round of US sanctions as it has survived before. This US government will not stay in office forever... But history will judge other nations based on what they do today,” Rouhani said during his visit to Vienna.
He also told International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano during a meeting that Tehran reserves the right to make “new decisions” based on whether or not Iran could still benefit from the 2015 nuclear deal, after the United States unilaterally withdrew from the accord in May.
Tehran announced on Wednesday that it will only buy goods from nations that purchase Iranian oil. The policy will likely help to discourage countries from adhering to the ambitious US plan to halt all Iranian oil exports, which Rouhani described as a “fantasy.”
“These are exaggerated statements that can never be implemented,” Rouhani said on Tuesday after holding talks with Swiss officials in Bern. “Such a scenario would mean the US was imposing its imperialist policy in flagrant violation of international law.”
Washington has been pressuring its allies to halt all purchases of Iranian oil by November 4. The economic and political hardball has reportedly even dissuaded Japan’s prime minister from visiting Tehran later this month. However, Japan has so far refused to cut Iranian oil imports.
Donald Trump’s decision to unilaterally exit the Iran nuclear deal and introduce fresh sanctions against Tehran has endangered the longevity of the historic accord. Washington’s European partners are enraged that their companies, which invested billions of dollars in Iran following the lifting of sanctions in 2015, could now be subjected to punitive US measures. Rouhani is currently touring Europe in an attempt to preserve the deal, while still making it worthwhile for Tehran.