“The harshest phase of the sanctions were oil-for-food sanctions; but today, we are in a condition in which these murderous and malicious [powers] prohibit the sale of a drop of oil for even food or medicine,” Mohammad Baqer Nobakht said on Thursday, Press TV reported.
“Even if there is a sale of oil, they seek to make financial transactions impossible,” he added.
The widespread economic sanctions, imposed on Iran after Washington withdrew, in 2018, from the 2015 nuclear deal – also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), target, among other things, much-needed humanitarian aid and related finances, preventing their delivery to the Islamic Republic.
The US has, since its withdrawal from the deal, continuously imposed additional sanctions on Iran’s various economic sectors as part of its campaign of “maximum pressure” against the country.
Washington even ignored international humanitarian pleads to suspend the sanctions as the country initially sought to import foreign medical supplies to counter the COVID-19 pandemic before resorting to manufacturing its own.
Last month, Washington led a failed attempt to trigger the so-called snapback provision in the JCPOA aimed at reinstating UN sanctions against Tehran despite no longer being party to the landmark Iran nuclear deal.
Nobakht said Iran has been able to withstand the sanctions even though such a brutal sanctions regime would have been enough to overwhelm other countries.
“Everyone, especially the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, knows that we face a tough year ahead of us,” he said.
“We must make the enemy understand that the more they seek to pressure us, we show the world more resiliently and actively that we are managing the country at the height of sanctions,” he added.
Referring to Ayatollah Khamenei’s “Surge in Production” slogan for the current Iranian calendar year (which started on March 20), Nobakht said the government will push on with its plans aimed at encouraging domestic production, regardless of the US sanctions.
He said the Iranian government is currently following up with a one-year program – approved by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution – to conclude unfinished economic projects.