Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has insisted that comprehensive US sanctions will have no effect on the economy.

After a meeting with Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani and head of judiciary Sadeq Larijani on Saturday, Rouhani said the sanctions were “totally incorrect and inaccurate, and [US officials] have themselves exposed this fact”:

The Iranian nation has demonstrated its resistance and fortitude and it is clear that the one who is thinking about pressure and oppression against the people is the ruling US administration not the other side.

They are the ones who want to negatively affect people’s lives and their everyday livelihood through inappropriate and wrong sanctions.

The President’s comments were in contrast to the statement of Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh after Monday’s imposition of the US sanctions: “Painful months are predicted…in the months ahead.”

Iran Daily, Nov 8: Government Warns of “Painful Months” Ahead

The US restrictions, announced by Donald Trump in May when he withdrew Washington from the 2015 nuclear agreement, target the energy and financial sectors. They aim to reduce Iranian oil exports to zero, with the first stage through March giving sanctions waivers to eight countries if they reduce purchases.

Before the sanctions, Iranian oil exports had already fallen 40% since April. Production, investment, trade, and employment have been affected, and the Iranian rial has lost 70% of its value this year.

But Rouhani declared yesterday that the restrictions “had no impact on the country’s economic trend because the US had already used all the weapons at its disposal and had nothing new to use against us”.

Responding to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted Saturday:

Pompeo told BBC Persian on Wednesday, “The [Iranian] leadership has to make a decision that they want their people to eat.”