Iran Dismisses US Efforts for Sanctions09/20 12:09
Iran's president dismissed U.S. efforts to restore all U.N. sanctions on the
country as mounting economic pressure from Washington pushed the local currency
down to its lowest level ever on Sunday.
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's president dismissed U.S. efforts to restore all
U.N. sanctions on the country as mounting economic pressure from Washington
pushed the local currency down to its lowest level ever on Sunday.
Iran's currency dropped to 272,500 to the U.S. dollar at money exchange
shops across Tehran.
The rial has lost more than 30% of its value to the dollar since June as
sweeping U.S. sanctions on Iran continue to crush its ability to sell oil
globally. Iran's currency was at 32,000 rials to the dollar at the time of
Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, which was signed by the Obama
administration but which the Trump administration pulled the U.S. out of.
As the currency plummeted, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani slammed the Trump
administration's declaration Saturday that all U.N. sanctions against Iran have
been reimposed because Tehran is not complying with the nuclear deal.
"If America uses its bullying ... and does something in practice, it will
have to face our decisive response," Rouhani said in a Cabinet meeting Sunday.
Rouhani said that, if the deal's remaining signatories fully carry out their
obligations under the agreement, Iran will walk back its steps away from the
deal. For Iran, being able to sell oil remains its most important concern.
The U.S. move to reimpose sanctions has been rejected as illegal by most of
the rest of the world and sets the stage for an ugly showdown at the world body
ahead of its annual General Assembly this week.
Even before the U.S. declaration, other Security Council members had vowed
to ignore it. They say the U.S. lost legal standing to invoke snapback
sanctions when President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018
and began reimposing U.S. sanctions on Iran.
France, Germany and Britain issued a joint statement Sunday reiterating that
they contest the legal basis of the Trump administration's bid to activate the
"snapback" sanctions mechanism because the United States withdrew from the
The statement said "it follows that any decision or action taken on the
basis of this procedure ... are without effect in law." The three countries
stressed they remain determined to preserve the nuclear deal with Iran.
Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the snapback
sanctions have only happened in "the fantastical world" of the Trump
administration. He said the U.S. stands on the wrong side of history.
"They are attempting to make everyone believe it, but nobody is buying it
except for themselves," Khatibzadeh said during his weekly press briefing on
"It is a television show whose sole presenter, viewers and those cheering it
on are Mr. Pompeo himself and a handful of others," the spokesman said,
referring to the U.S. secretary of state.
The White House plans to issue an executive order on Monday spelling out how
the U.S. will enforce the restored sanctions, and the State and Treasury
departments are expected to outline how foreign individuals and businesses will
be penalized for violations.
Tensions are running high between Iran and the U.S., particularly since a
U.S. strike in January killed Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani
in Baghdad, prompting Tehran to retaliate with a ballistic missile strike on
Iraqi bases housing American troops.