TEHRAN (Dispatches) – President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday night underlined Iran’s readiness to counter U.S. sanctions, assuring that the Islamic Republic will definitely weather economic pressures with "resistance and steadfastness”.
"We will undoubtedly pass this stage with people’s resistance and steadfastness, and better management and planning,” Rouhani said at a meeting with Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei here.
Rouhani said the last Persian year which ended on March 21 was a hard year for Iranians, especially in terms of their livelihoods and economic pressures.
"If we can exercise more supervision over imported goods, we will be able to reduce people’s problems and overcome the sanctions,” the president added.
Rouhani touched on the U.S. administration’s bid to bring Iran’s oil exports down to zero, saying, "We can replace oil incomes with non-oil ones.”
"With their miscalculations, the Americans thought they could bring the great Iranian nation to its knees, and they set dates for it, but the Iranian people stood strong and steady.
"Today, the enemies are working hard, sending their fleet in the morning, and giving a phone number in the evening,” he said, referring to reports that the White House had contacted the Swiss to share a phone number the Iranians could call U.S. President Donald Trump.
John Bolton, President Trump's national security adviser, announced on Sunday that the U.S. was sending the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier and its associated strike group to the waters near Iran to "send a message".
Rouhani said, "Today, we are facing a great divine test, and will undoubtedly pass this stage with resistance and steadfastness.”
The president said on Monday the Islamic Republic is "too great to be intimidated by anyone”.
"God willing we will pass this difficult period with glory and our heads held high, and defeat the enemy,” he said at a meeting with Sunni clerics late Monday.
On Tuesday, a senior member of Iran’s parliament blamed the occupying regime of Israel for the attacks on shipping for which there has been no claim of responsibility.
The attacks "appeared to be Israeli mischief,” Behrouz Nemati said after a closed-door session of parliament, quoted by state news agency IRNA.