"We have stated before that the US cannot bring Iranian oil exports down to zero and this was proven right. The US will not be able to bring down exports dramatically either, because Iran has the ability to export its oil and the global market needs it," he told the New Arab publication.
The foreign minister's comment referred to the second package of anti-Iranian sanctions, targeting the country's oil market. The batch was re-introduced last week, while the previous package was imposed in August. Along with the punitive measures, the US Treasury has given eight countries temporary exemptions to ensure a well-supplied oil market.
The sanctions did not come as a surprise: they followed US President Donald Trump's decision to pull the country out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran. Other signatories said they would uphold their commitments and devise a mechanism to evade sanctions that Trump promised to slap on firms still trading with Iran.