DUBAI (Reuters) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that the United States was isolated among its traditional allies in its confrontation with Iran, and that even Europe was siding with Tehran against the reimposition of U.S. sanctions.
FILE PHOTO: Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani speaks at a news conference on the sidelines of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 26, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan Mcdermid/File Photo
“It does not happen often that the U.S. makes a decision and its traditional allies abandon it,” Rouhani told parliament in a speech carried live on state television.
Washington reintroduced sanctions against Iran’s currency trade, metals and auto sectors in August after the U.S. withdrawal from a multinational 2015 deal that lifted sanctions in return for limits on Iran’s nuclear program.
European countries have criticized the U.S. withdrawal from the accord and have been putting together a package of economic measures to help offset the U.S. pressures on Tehran, which have contributed to the economic volatility in the country.
U.S. curbs on Iran’s vital oil exports are set to come into force on Nov. 4.
Rouhani was speaking at the start of a parliament session to discuss a cabinet reshuffle which includes a proposed new economy minister, academic Farhad Dejpasand, who is widely seen as a technocrat, and three other economy-linked ministers.
The proposed cabinet changes come as the government faces intense pressure over the economic instability mostly caused by the U.S. sanctions.
The economy has markedly deteriorated in the past year, suffering rising inflation and unemployment, a slump in the rial currency and state corruption.
“A year ago no one would have believed … that Europe would stand with Iran and against America,” Rouhani said.
“Russia, China, India, the European Union, and some African and Latin American countries are our friends. We have to work with them and attract investments,” Rouhani added.
Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Alison Williams