Iranian president Hassan Rouhani gestures during a news conference in Tehran, Iran, May 22, 2017.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that US sanctions announced last week have had no effect on Iran's economy because Washington had already practically reimposed them earlier.
"The sanctions have had no impact on our economy because America had already used all the weapons at its disposal and there was nothing new to use against us," Rouhani said in remarks carried live on state television.
The United States announced a new raft of sanctions on Iran on Monday and threatened further action to pressure its old adversary, steps the Islamic Republic condemned as "economic war" and vowed to defy.
The move is part of a wider effort by US President Donald Trump to curb Tehran's missile and nuclear programs and diminish the Islamic Republic's influence in the Middle East.
In a statement, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said:
"Treasury's imposition of unprecedented financial pressure on Iran should make clear to the Iranian regime that they will face mounting financial isolation and economic stagnation until they fundamentally change their destabilizing behavior."
The sanctions cover 50 Iranian banks and subsidiaries, more than 200 persons and vessels in its shipping sector, and targets Tehran's national airline, Iran Air, and more than 65 of its aircraft, the statement said.
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