Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Saturday called the latest US sanctions passed against the Islamic Republic “pathetic,” in his first speech since the new measures were signed into law by President Barack Obama on Thursday, Reuters reported.The US legislation affects the gasoline, financial, insurance and shipping sectors, among others, as it seeks to impose a heavy economic cost on Iran for continuing with its nuclear program.RELATED:'Terror may follow Iran sanctions''Syria has new radar from Iran'“They know that there is a sleeping lion in Iran which is waking up and if she wakes up all the relationships in the world will change,” said Ahmadinejad. “Their pathetic acts show they know what a great human power is hidden in Iran.”Ahmadinejad added that the sanctions would not prevent Iran from continuing with its nuclear program.“They thought that by having meetings and talking to each other and signing papers they could stop a great nation’s progress,” he said. “Iran is much greater than what they can perceive it in their small minds. We know that if this Iranian civilization awakes then there would be no more room for arrogant, corrupt and bullying powers.”The new US law attempts to bar countries from exporting refined petroleum to Iran, as well as restrict access to American financial institutions for any entity that helps the Revolutionary Guard Corps. It also seeks to choke off investment, technology and development of Iran’s energy sector, and makes it easier for US states and localities to divest from companies that do business with Iran. The measure was passed overwhelmingly by the Senate and House last week ahead of the July 4 recess. Sponsors described it as the toughest yet to target Iran.Though the Obama administration had expressed reservations about the details of the legislation, its main concern was that the move would disrupt its own efforts to get a new sanctions resolution through the UN Security Council. Once that passed last month, lawmakers seized on the opportunity to build on the framework by putting through the unilateral US measure.Hilary Leila Krieger and Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.