Iran supreme leader promises to ‘slap’ US, defeat sanctions
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Iran supreme leader promises to ‘slap’ US, defeat sanctions

Khamenei says economy can withstand economic penalties, vows to never allow Islamic Republic to surrender to America

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks at a meeting in Tehran, Iran, August 13, 2018. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks at a meeting in Tehran, Iran, August 13, 2018. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Thursday the Islamic Republic would “slap” the United States by defeating new American sanctions targeting the nation.

In a speech in Tehran to thousands of members of the Basij, an all-volunteer force under Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, Khamenei asserted that the country’s economy was strong enough to withstand the punitive measures.

“Following vast explorations, the enemy has arrived at sanctions [as a solution] to counter the Islamic Republic. It has no other solution but economic sanctions. Other paths in front of it are blocked,” Khamenei said according to state-run Press TV.

“Our national economy can defeat sanctions,” he said. “The defeat of sanctions will be America’s defeat, and the US, with this defeat, should once again be slapped in the face by the Iranian nation, God willing.”

Khamenei also warned that media controlled by foreign enemies could be as dangerous as “chemical weapons,” and said he would never allow Iran to “kneel and give in to the US.”

Qassem Soleimani, the leader of the Guard’s expeditionary Quds Force, attended the speech with the head of the Guard, Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari.

Trump placed a first round of sanctions on Iran in August after pulling out in May from the 2015 international deal aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, to the dismay of his European allies. A second, more sweeping, set of sanctions is set to be reimposed in early November.

Trump argues that the 2015 Iran deal negotiated under his predecessor Barack Obama gave Tehran money to support extremist groups and build nuclear-capable missiles.

US President Donald J. Trump signs an executive order on Iran Sanctions at Trump National Golf Club, August 6, 2018, in Bedminster Township, New Jersey. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

The fresh sanctions have hurt Iran’s already ailing economy and have fueled the depreciation of its rial currency.

The deal’s European signatories have pledged to keep the agreement alive, with plans for a mechanism to let firms skirt the US sanctions as they do business with Iran.

AP contributed to this report.

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