Iran's Rouhani says new USA sanctions can not break 'resistance'

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The U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions against 18 major Iranian banks Thursday, one of them directly affiliated with the Iranian military.

The Department of the Treasury sanctioned 18 Iranian banks based on Executive Order 13902, which enables the United States government to sanction sectors of the Iranian economy in order to deny the Iranian government funds.

Trump and his administration have been seeking to kill a 2015 nuclear deal the U.S. and other world powers struck with Iran, and has been ramping up pressure on Tehran in what has been called a "maximum pressure" campaign aimed at bringing Tehran back to the negotiating table.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the U.S. sanctions against his country's financial sector are "cruel, terrorist and inhumane", adding that Washington is creating serious obstacles in importing medicine and food.

President Hassan Rouhani had said earlier that the country was going through the toughest year due to U.S. sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic as the country's oil exports plunged to a new low amid the embargo.

Since the withdrawal of the US from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, President Donald Trump's administration has gradually increased pressure on Iran by imposing sanctions on its oil sales, blacklisting top government officials and killing a top general in an airstrike.

While nearly the entire rest of the world, which has an interest in preserving the deal, has vowed to ignore those sanctions, violating them will come with significant risk of losing access to the USA financial system. The sanctions also target non-Iranian institutions that trade with the banks.

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Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javid Zarif claims that the sanctions are nothing new and will have no significant impact on Iran, as the U.S has already exerted all the pressure it could.

He went on to say that the United States could not achieve its goals by imposing economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Yet statements from experts and right groups point to the dire humanitarian consequences and the suffering sanctions impose on the Iranian people. "Conspiring to starve a population is a crime against humanity".

Some analysts echoed the concern that sanctions would hurt ordinary Iranians. In invoking this clause, the U.S referred to Iran's "significant non-compliance" with the nuclear deal.

In June, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the country was experiencing its toughest year due to sanctions and the coronavirus, Reuters reported.

Rouhani said the sanctions are "attempts to create serious obstacles in fund transfers for medicine and food" and called them "cruel, terrorist and inhumane".

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