The Iranian foreign ministry lashed out at the US Treasury Department for imposing financial sanctions against the Middle East’s largest steel producer and largest tractor manufacturer, describing the move as an insult to international mechanisms.
"We consider this measure as a clear insult by the US to the legal and international mechanisms and it is the result of the blind selfishness and grudge of the US administration against the Iranian nation," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Wednesday.
He added that the US administration's behavior and approach and its non-commitment to the international rules and laws threatens the interests of not only the Iranian nation but also international stability and security.
Iran Tractor Manufacturing Co., identified as the largest tractor company in the Middle East and North Africa, and Mobarakeh Steel Company, identified as the largest steelmaker in the region, were among 22 corporations and banks the Treasury described as a network providing support to the Basij (volunteer) Force.
Iranian officials have downplayed the impacts of the US sanctions against the country.
In relevant remarks early this month, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei underlined that the Iranian nation would certainly be able to defeat the US sanctions.
Ayatollah Khamenei made the remarks, addressing 100,000 Basiji (volunteer) forces and senior military officials at Azadi Stadium in Tehran.
“After vast explorations, the enemy has arrived at sanctions to counter the Islamic Republic. It has no other option but waging economic sanctions as it is facing a deadend in every other corner,” he said, stressing, however, that “economic sanctions are more fragile than our national economy”.
“Our national economy can beat the sanctions. The failure of the sanctions would mean (ultimate) defeat for America, and the US should once again be slapped in the face by the Iranian nation, God willing, with this defeat,” Ayatollah Khamenei underlined.
“The enemy intends to push the Iranian nation into this conclusion that the country has come to a deadend and has no other option, but to kneel and give into the US,” he said, adding that those promoting such a viewpoint at home are traitors to the country.
Ayatollah Khamenei, however, assured that he “will not allow that to happen in the country” with the help of the nation.
The Leader further said the Iranian nation has been blessed with “invincibility,” which is rooted in its 1979 Islamic Revolution, its eight-year Holy Defense of the country against the ex-Iraqi regime’s war in the following years, and in general, its steadfast resistance over the past 40 years in the face of all enemy plots.
“The grandeur and authority of the Islamic Republic and its invincibility are not empty talk or mere slogans. It is a fact that the enemies seek to keep us ignorant of,” Ayatollah Khamenei emphasized.
He said US President Donald Trump had recently told some European leaders that Iran’s Islamic establishment would be toppled in 2-3 months, adding that such comments are nothing new.
However, almost 40 years into the Revolution, the Islamic Republic has only grown more powerful, the Leader said. “The enemy of the Iranian nation has failed to gain an understanding of the Revolution and the revolutionary spirit; this wrong analysis has misled it (the enemy) in the course of these years,” he said.
The US’s enmity towards the Iranian nation is not merely due to “Death to America” chants, Ayatollah Khamenei said. “They (the Americans) are afraid of Islamic power and the Revolution’s might.”
Ayatollah Khamenei further advised that “both youths and authorities should convey a message of power to the enemy not a message of weakness”.
The enemy, the Leader said, will retreat if it faces national unity, strength and firm determination, and if domestic rifts are set aside.
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