Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday that the US will be defeated after reimposing sanctions on Tehran, saying that Washington has chosen “the wrong path.”
“The Americans will definitely be defeated in this path. The path they have chosen is wrong and incorrect,” Rouhani said, according to the Tasnim news agency and Reuters. “If they are being honest and they are looking for regional security, this is not the path. If they are being honest and respect the Iranian people, this is not the path.”
He added, “They have made themselves more infamous in the world and in front of our people. It’s clear for everyone that the incorrect and cruel sanctions of America will harm the dear and honorable people of our country.”
US President Donald Trump has dramatically increased pressure on Tehran, withdrawing from an international agreement aimed at ending its nuclear program and introducing several rounds of unilateral US sanctions.
The latest tranche of measures have been touted as the toughest yet, and aim to significantly reduce Iran’s vital oil exports and cut off its banks from international finance.
US National Security Adviser John Bolton vowed Tuesday to “squeeze” Iran, saying: “We think the government is under real pressure and it’s our intention to squeeze them very hard.
“As the British say, squeeze them until the pips squeak. We are also going to significantly increase the enforcement of sanctions.”
The sanctions have been opposed by other parties to the deal aimed at ending Iran’s nuclear drive — Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia — who have vowed to keep the accord alive.
UN inspectors say Iran is abiding by the agreement.
Washington is demanding that Iran end policies rooted in the 1979 Islamist revolution, including its support for regional proxies such as the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah and its development of missiles.
The only support for the US position has come from Iran’s regional rivals, notably Saudi Arabia and Israel.
The International Monetary Fund has forecast that the sanctions will cause Iran’s economy to contract 1.5 percent this year and 3.6 percent next year.