Iran Accuses US of Regime Change Attempt, Downplays Effect of Sanctions
Tensions between Tehran and Washington escalated after President Trump announced the US's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and the reinstatement of anti-Iranian sanctions in early May.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has accused the US of using psychological and economic warfare in order to instigate regime change in Iran.
"Reducing the legitimacy of the system is their final goal. When they say getting rid of it, regime change in their own words, how does regime change happen? Through reducing legitimacy, otherwise a regime doesn't change," Rouhani pointed out during a speech at Tehran University.
Touching upon the upcoming US sanctions against Iran's oil and gas sector, Rouhani stressed that they "will have no effect" given that "the US has already done whatever it wanted to do."
He also suggested that the Islamic Republic will manage to overcome the anti-Iranian sanctions through "unity and integrity."
On Tehran's ties with the Trump administration, Rouhani said that "in the past 40 years there has not been a more spiteful team than the current US government team toward Iran, Iranians and the Islamic Republic."
"There was a time when there was one person who had enmity. The rest were moderate. Now […] the worst have gathered around each other," he stressed.
Earlier, Rouhani claimed that the US is "more isolated than ever" over the anti-Iranian sanctions.
On August 7, the White House announced the re-introduction of the first phase of the anti-Iranian sanctions, slapping restrictive measures penalizing trade with Iran involving the sale of currency, sovereign debt, cars, aircraft, gold and other metals.
Washington is poised to add Iranian oil and gas to the sanctions during the second phase, due to be reintroduced in November as part of US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Trump announced the move in early May, pledging to reinstate anti-Iranian sanctions, including those which prevent other countries from doing business with the Islamic Republic.
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