Iranian President Hassan Rouhani dismissed a US call for talks on Tuesday, the eve of the imposition of new sanctions that follows Washington's decision to pull out of an agreement over Iran's nuclear programme. "At that time, we were warned from experts... that the threat of unilateral sanctions from the USA would not be effective, but three months out we have a very different picture".
The so-called snapback sanctions, due to come into force early on Tuesday, target Iranian purchases of United States dollars, metals trading and other dealings, coal, industrial-related software and its auto sector. "If somebody puts a knife in its opponent or enemy's arm and says we want to negotiate, the answer is that they must first pull out the knife and then come to the negotiation table", Rouhani said.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared on Sunday that Washington would "enforce the sanctions" it is reimposing against Iran after President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement, AFP reported. Renewed sanctions targeting Iran's oil industry and banking sector will resume on November 4.
Rouhani fell back on the rhetoric of many of his predecessors by referencing the 1953 CIA-backed coup that overthrew Iran's elected prime minister and cemented the shah's rule.
"He will meet with the Iranian leadership at any time to discuss a real comprehensive deal that will contain their regional ambitions, will end their malign behavior, and deny them any paths to a nuclear weapon", said one official. "The U.S owes the Iranian nation for its intervention in Iran".
Rouhani expressed concern that Trump has backed out of previous dialogue and negotiations with Iran.
Iran's currency has lost around half its value since Trump announced the USA would withdraw from the pact.
"This will have exponential effect on Iran's already fragile economy". "Yet the very first sanctions it reimposed have canceled licenses for sales of 200+ passenger jets under absurd pretexts, endangering ordinary Iranians", the country's foreign minister, Javad Zarif, tweeted Monday.
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Critics also warn that this kind of pressure from the USA could empower hardliners, especially as they try to blame the economic turmoil on a foreign power, as opposed to the government's own mismanagement.
A summit with Trump would greatly shame the theocratic rulers of Iran, as they frame their whole government as a revolutionary act opposing U.S. hegemony and cry "death to America".
Hemmati told state TV late Sunday that "money exchangers are allowed to sell and buy foreign currencies" once again, to improve access to "services and travel overseas".
The measures appeared to calm the markets on Monday, with the rial strengthening to 95,500 to the dollar - a 20 percent improvement on its record-low of 119,000 a fortnight ago.
The decision goes into effect on Tuesday.
"There will be pressure because of sanctions, but we will overcome this with unity".
That agreement established curbs on Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. "I am pleased that many worldwide firms have already announced their intent to leave the Iranian market, and several countries have indicated that they will reduce or end imports of Iranian crude oil".