Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that foreign powers have demonstrated that they cannot speak to Iranians with “the language of force, threats and sanctions”, Press TV reported.
Rouhani, who spoke on the occasion of the Persian New Year, or Nowruz, reportedly said that despite the COVID-19 pandemic which further toughened the weight of sanctions introduced against Iran, as its nearly 83 million-population was deprived of access to much-needed humanitarian assistance, the Iranian nation has proved the ability to weather the storm and maintain sustainable economic growth.
According to the Iranian president, the so-called "maximum pressure" against Tehran has failed over the past three years, pushing foreign leaders to return to constructive dialogue with the Islamic Republic. The "maximum pressure" campaign was introduced by ex-US president Donald Trump after he ditched the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA and slammed Iran with harsh sanctions. The Biden administration has signaled a possible revival of the JCPOA, but no exact steps have been made so far.
“Today, the enemies of the nation have admitted that the language of force, threats and sanctions cannot be spoken to the great nation of Iran. Therefore, after three years of defeat, they are forced to return to the path of constructive interaction with the Iranian nation,” Rouhani said, as quoted by Press TV.
Since the start of the pandemic, Iranian officials have slammed the sanctions regime against Tehran, pointing out that it has harmed the nation's ability to fight the virus, as many companies that supplied medicine and medical equipment required to fight the coronavirus have stopped shipping to Iran.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said on Friday that the United States' economic terrorism against the Islamic Republic was a complete failure, as the nation was able to overcome the burdens by demonstrating “ironclad resilience”.
“We, Iranians, are not just surviving, but we are stronger and more determined, more than ever, to decide our own destiny,” the diplomat said.
Earlier, Zarif accused Western counties of hoarding three times more vaccines than they need, blasting the practice of making one country secure at the cost of others and wished "the coronavirus would at least teach us this lesson to understand that in an interconnected world, we are all sitting in the same boat."
Iran started its vaccination campaign in February, using Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine. It is said to have inoculated 10,000 people to date, less than 0.1 percent of the country's population.
Tehran has repeatedly stated that Washington must lift the sanctions first before any talks concerning the revival of the JCPOA could take place. It has also rejected any renegotiating of the JCPOA, insisting that the original version of the deal must be preserved.
Following the US' withdrawal from the deal, Tehran started to gradually abandon its commitments under the agreement. In December 2020, Iran passed a law to increase its uranium enrichment and stop UN inspections of its nuclear sites in response to the killing of nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. At the beginning of January, Iran’s atomic energy organization announced that the country had succeeded in enriching uranium at 20 percent at the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant.