Iran’s spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has declared that the US sanctions against the Islamic Republic have failed. Instead, the punitive measures had strengthened the country’s national independence, Khamenei said on Friday in a television speech. He added that his country would not hold talks with the U.S. because only U.S. President Donald Trump would benefit.
The US sanctions against Iran are undoubtedly a criminal act, but the country has found a way out, said Khamenei. “The clever Iranian made the best of this attack and hostility and benefited from it. The sanctions were used to strengthen national independence.” Even western policy experts admitted that Trump’s “maximum pressure” policy didn’t work, Khamenei said.
Trump unilaterally canceled the nuclear deal with Iran in May 2018, after which he had massive sanctions against Iran put into effect. Trump is calling for a much broader agreement with Tehran, including the Iranian missile program. Its “maximum pressure” policy is intended to get Tehran to negotiate such an agreement.
As a result of the sanctions, Iran lost access to international banking systems, and the Islamic Republic also lost countries such as China as a buyer of Iranian oil exports.
According to Khamenei, Iran has therefore focused on exporting other products. As a result, the country’s economy is now “naturally less dependent” on oil, the Ayatollah said.
In the television speech, the 81-year-old described Trump, who was seven years his junior, as an “old man”. Khamenei rejected calls for new talks with the United States. With such talks, Trump only wants to collect points from domestic voters for the upcoming US presidential election.