Rouhani condemns US for 'crimes' against Iran

AFP , Saturday 26 Sep 2020

A handout picture provided by the Iranian presidency on September 23, 2020, shows President Hassan Rouhani chairing a cabinet meeting in the capital Tehran. (Photo: AFP)

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday said people should blame Washington for the "crimes and pressure" facing the country, as waves of US sanctions impact the struggling economy.

"They prevented the purchase of medicines and food by imposing unjust, illegal, and inhuman sanctions," Rouhani said in a televised address.

While humanitarian supplies such as medicine are theoretically exempt from United States sanctions, many companies fear breaking the rules and avoid transactions with Tehran.

"The correct address for all crimes and pressure against the dear Iranian people is Washington DC, the White House," Rouhani added.

He saved particular criticism for US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

"A gentleman who presents himself as the Minister of Foreign Affairs but who is (in reality) the Minister of Crimes," Rouhani said.

In May 2018, US President Donald Trump withdrew from a landmark deal that gave Iran relief from sanctions in return for UN-verified guarantees that it is not seeking nuclear weapons.

Since breaking from the accord, the US has slapped a string of sanctions on Iran that have crippled its economy.

Tehran and Washington have not had diplomatic relations for more than four decades.

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