Amid ongoing concerns about the economy, Iran’s regime has expressed its anger at the prospect of new US sanctions.
On Tuesday, the US House of Representatives adopted new restrictions on Iran, Russia, and North Korea, following the Senate’s vote for additional sanctions on Tehran last month. The two houses will now reconcile their versions before a final bill goes to Donald Trump for approval.
President Hassan Rouhani led the Iranian reactions on Wednesday, promising at a Cabinet session that the Islamic Republic will “definitely” give a proportionate response to Washington: “We will take any step that we deem necessary in line with the interests of our country, and we would continue our path without paying attention to their sanctions and policies.”
He portrayed defiance:
During these 40 years, [the Iranian people] have constantly faced various sanctions, pressures and false allegations from American propaganda machines and politicians….
US hostility is not merely towards the Islamic Republic of Iran but rather, they cannot tolerate Iranian people’s resistance and they cannot accept that a country can have such independence and effectiveness in a critical region.
Challenging the sanctions’ designation of Iran’s ballistic missile testing, Rouhani said the Islamic Republic will continue regardless of other countries’ “viewpoints”: “We will keep on the path of improving our defense capability. Our armed forces are supported by the great nation of Iran.”
A “Decisive Response”
Earlier on Wednesday, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said, “The measure being taken by the US Congress and the new law being passed against Iran, Russia and North Korea is a blatant hostile act against the Islamic Republic of Iran, which will be met with a decisive response.”
Araqchi foreshadowed Rouhani’s remarks by declaring that Iran has long faced “hostile moves” by the US Congress and government.
While Iran has continued to adhere to the July 2015 nuclear deal, Araqchi warned that the US measures “could affect the successful implementation” of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Iran has hoped for economic recovery amid the implementation, but progress has been hampered by ongoing US sanctions as well as internal barriers. Trade and investment, especially from Europe, has been limited by the fears of companies that they will face American punishment if they confirm links with Tehran.