Khamenei Acknowledges Impact of US Sanctions on Iran
Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei acknowledged on Saturday the impact of new US sanctions against the country, describing them as “literal crimes”.
"We should be strong to prevent any war against the county. Being weak will encourage our enemies to attack Iran," he said.
"These sanctions are criminal act... but we can turn it to an opportunity by distancing Iran's economy from being dependent on oil exports," he added.
"Iran poses no threat to any other country... Our only aim is to make sure our security is guaranteed," Khamenei added.
"Our Air Force, which had no right to and couldn't even repair parts of aircraft (before the revolution) now builds planes," Khamenei was quoted as saying on his English-language Twitter account.
Earlier statements by a number of Iranian officials denied the impact of sanctions on the economy.
"We have billions of dollars in various countries. But when we want to transfer one dollar from these funds for the purchase of medicines or food, the US does not allow it", Iranian First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri said recently.
On Jan. 3, the US killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike in Baghdad, prompting Iran to fire a salvo of missiles against two Iraqi bases that house US troops the following week.
US-Iranian ties worsened since the US withdrawal in May 2018 from the nuclear deal. Washington then re-imposed a series of economic sanctions, which Iran responded to through violating key pledges it made within the 2015 deal.