Rouhani admits: We might face difficulties

Iranian President warns citizens they may face more difficulties as US sanctions go into effect.

Elad Benari ,

Hassan Rouhani
Hassan Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned Iranians on Wednesday they may face more difficulties in the months ahead, The Associated Press reported.

His comments came as the United States prepares to impose new sanctions on the country next week.

"The situation was hard for people in the recent months, and it may be hard in the next several months too," Rouhani was quoted as having said during a Cabinet meeting. "The government will utilize its entire capabilities to alleviate the problems."

In May, US President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, which he has slammed as “the worst deal ever negotiated”.

Trump later signed an executive order officially reinstating US sanctions against Iran. Additional US sanctions targeting Iran's oil and shipping industries will go into effect on November 4.

Rouhani argued on Wednesday that Washington is trying to make Iranians angry at their government.

"People are in fact angry, but ... they are mad at America and its crimes — not at their government and its ruling system," he said, according to AP.

The Iranian government has been trying to find ways to get around the new US sanctions and expand financial ties with other countries, aiming mainly for the European Union, China and India.

Last month, the European Union vowed to help Iran evade the economic sanctions imposed by the US, shielding companies doing business with the rogue state in an effort to preserve the Iran nuclear deal.

Before Rouhani’s comments on Wednesday, Iranian officials regularly insisted that the US sanctions will not work.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday shrugged off the forthcoming US sanctions, saying Washington will fail to achieve its goals by imposing new bans on Iran and claiming the new US sanctions would mainly have "psychological effects."

In late September, Rouhani expressed confidence that European powers would find ways to continue business with Iran and evade sanctions and predicted that the US would eventually rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal.