17 July 2019

US administration 'desperate': Iran's Rouhani

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday denounced U.S. sanctions against Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and others, saying the move reflects the "desperation" of the Donald Trump administration. reports citing Anadolu Agency.

"It is obvious that you [U.S. administration] are lying," he said in statements cited by Press TV.

"You [U.S. administration] call for negotiations. If you are telling the truth, why are you simultaneously seeking to sanction our foreign minister, too?” he asked, in reference to Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

On Monday, the U.S. administration imposed sanctions on Khamenei, his office and eight senior commanders of Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), including the commanders of its air force and ground forces, and five naval district leaders.

The fresh sanctions came days after Iran shot down a U.S. reconnaissance drone, which Tehran says violated its airspace while Washington maintains it was in international waters over the Strait of Hormuz, an important shipping route.

“An example of our strategic patience was that when a trespassing drone intruded into our airspace, we destroyed it within a few minutes,” Rouhani said.

"Our borders are our red lines,” he said. "Today, the Americans have become desperate and confused. This has made them take unusual measures and talk nonsense."

Tensions have been rising between the U.S. and Iran since May 2018, when Washington unilaterally withdrew from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany and the EU.

The U.S. has since embarked upon a diplomatic and economic campaign to put pressure on Iran in order to renegotiate the agreement, as well as other Iranian activities Washington considers to be "destabilizing".

As part of its campaign, the U.S. has re-imposed sanctions on exports of Iranian crude oil, which have nosedived the Iranian economy.

2019.06.25 / 17:23
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