Iran’s Rouhani: US sanctions are ‘economic terrorism’

Iran’s Rouhani: US sanctions are ‘economic terrorism’

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said US sanctions were “economic terrorism”, as he sought to foster a united front from visiting regional officials on Saturday.

Washington has re-imposed an oil embargo and other damaging sanctions on Iran since pulling out in May from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers.

“America’s unjust and illegal sanctions against the honorable nation of Iran have targeted our nation in a clear instance of terrorism,” Rouhani said in a televised speech.

He was speaking at a conference on terrorism and regional cooperation attended by parliament speakers from Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Russia and Turkey.

“We are facing an all-out assault which is not only threatening our independence and identity but also is bent on breaking our longstanding ties,” he added.

“When they impose sanctions on Iran, they deprive all of us of the benefits of international trade, energy security and sustainable development. And in fact, they impose sanctions on everyone.

“We are here to say that we don’t intend to tolerate such insolence.”

Rouhani also warned Europe — which has strongly objected to the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal — that much is at stake in its efforts to bypass US sanctions and maintain trade with Iran.

The conference in Tehran was the second regional meeting on terrorism — the first was held last December in Islamabad.

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