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Rouhani Says US Sanctions Targeting Iranian People

Rouhani Says US Sanctions Targeting Iranian People

"Iran is a neighboring country and our interest lies in having good and stable relations with Iran", he said, adding the Iraqi people also wanted to deepen Arab and Gulf ties.

In May, US President Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and reimpose sanctions against Tehran that were previously lifted under the accord, including secondary restrictions.

Dr Lina Khatib, head of the Middle East and North Africa program at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, said: "Iran is already under financial strain due to both its adventurism in Syria and the USA withdrawal from the nuclear deal, which reduced the Western private sector's interest in Iran".

Washington has been pushing governments to cut imports of Iranian oil to zero.

"And this shows that they are merely trying to affect the Iranian nation psychologically", Rouhani said.

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Iran made progress in various fields, especially in the field of defense, missile and nuclear industries during the imposition of USA sanctions over 40 years, Salehi was quoted as saying by semi-official Mehr News Agency.

However, China, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey have received temporary exemptions from the sanctions on importing oil from Iran.

The Iraqi president also emphasized that his country wanted to maintain "balanced" relations with all its neighbors and the global community.

In a separate development, the U.S. granted Iraq a waiver to import natural gas and energy supplies from Iran for a period of 45.

Indeed, the renewed U.S. sanctions that have come into play since Donald Trump withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) - also known as the Iran nuclear deal - have plunged Iran into economic crisis. In September, the southern Iraqi city of Basra was hit by violent protests, which spread to other cities, partly because of a halt to Iranian electricity exports.