Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Friday strongly condemned US sanctions on the Iranian nation as "a grave crime."
"The sanctions the Americans have exerted against the Iranian nation are for sure a grave crime," Khamenei said in a televised speech on the occasion of the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha.
"Although the sanctions seem to be against the (Islamic) establishment, it is indeed against the entire nation," he noted.
In the short term, their pressure aims to exhaust and disturb the Iranian nation and to make the nation stand against the Islamic establishment, he said.
Their next major goal is to prevent Iran's development through sanctions, the Iranian top leader added.
The United States seeks to pressure Iran to abandon its nuclear industry, reduce its defensive capability and give up its regional influence, Khamenei concluded.