Rouhani urges unity, resistance amid US 'war on hope'

Rouhani urges unity, resistance amid US 'war on hope'
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday called for the country to "resist and unite" against US pressure in what he called a "war on hope" waged against the Islamic republic.

3 min read
04 May, 2019
President Hassan Rouhani said the country has no choice but to unite [Getty]
Iran’s president urged the country to "resist and unite" against US pressure in what he called a "war on hope" waged against the Islamic republic.

President Hassan Rouhani made the remarks as Iran struggled against rising inflation, a plummeting currency and increasing costs of import almost a year since President Donald Trump reimposed crippling US sanctions following an exit from the landmark nuclear agreement between major powers and Iran.

"America will only let go of this game when it realises it cannot achieve anything. We have no way but to resist and unite," President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised speech on Saturday. 

Upping the ante, the White House announced last week it would end oil purchase waivers granted to Iran's main customers - including China, India and Turkey - cutting Iran's access to its main source of foreign currency revenue.

"Our war today is the war on hope. They want to break our hope, and we have to break their hope" of defeating Iran, said Rouhani.

"They want to cut our foreign currency supply ... they seek to sow discord in the country. They want us to be divided, to stand against each other," he added.

Rouhani has vowed that Iran will continue to supply oil to its major customers despite the unilateral measures adopted by the United States.

"America's decision that Iran's oil exports must reach zero is a wrong and mistaken decision, and we won't let this decision be executed and operational," Rouhani said in a speech broadcasted live on state TV in late April.

"In future months, the Americans themselves will see that we will continue our oil exports."

Rouhani added it is ordinary Iranians who are feeling the pressure from US sanctions, Reuters reported.

Oil prices skyrocketed after the White House announced an end to the sanctions waivers. Eight governments, among them Washington's allies like India, were initially given six-month reprieves from the unilateral US sanctions on Iran.

The White House said that Saudi Arabia and the UAE - who back Trump's hawkish stance against regional rival Iran - would work to make up the difference in oil to ensure that global markets are not rocked.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif said one of its "numerous options" after Trump's sanctions announcement is to pull out of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal.

President Donald Trump withdrew from the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) with world powers last year and reimposed crippling sanctions on Iran. The deal, negotiated by his predecessor Barack Obama, agreed Iran would drastically scale back its nuclear programme in return for promises of sanctions relief.

US officials say that they are aiming at choking off Iranian revenue so as to reduce the clerical regime's regional clout, notably its support for militants groups such as Lebanon's Hizballah.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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