“During recent days, they [Americans] imposed new sanctions on our country, but these sanctions are of no importance to us. The enemy does not sanction us to prevent our access to anything. Their sanctions are aimed at blocking our exports, because they are afraid of our exports,” Brigadier General Amir Hatami said on Sunday, Press TV reported.
On Thursday, the United States targeted Iran’s financial sector by imposing sanctions on 18 Iranian banks.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin claimed that the US sanctions would "stop illicit access to US dollars".
The Trump administration has claimed humanitarian goods are exempt from its sanction, but a web of sanctions tied around Iran over years has made foreign banks and companies extremely wary of engaging in any trade with the country.
According to Bloomberg, the new measures could sharply hinder Iran’s ability to secure supplies of food and medicine at a time the country struggles to contain a resurgence of the coronavirus outbreak.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said on Friday that the new sanctions imposed by the United States on the Iranian banking sector amount to an effort of a ‘terrorist, cruel and inhumane’ nature aimed at putting major obstacles to fund transfers for the purchase of medicine and food amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Everyone is witnessing that Washington’s move is in full violation of international law; and in these times of the coronavirus pandemic, the White House’s attitude is completely against humanity; and the so-called advocates of human rights should condemn it globally,” Rouhani said in a phone call with Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Abdolnaser Hemmati.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Hatami said the Iranian nation would never forget such hostile act, "because they have savagely imposed economic terrorism on our nation at this juncture."
"Today, the Iranian nation is suffering from sanctions at a time that many nations have easy access to medicine, science, technology and resources. Under such conditions, the enemies have done their best to deprive our nation from its most basic rights," the Iranian defense chief added.
"The enemies should know that they will never be able to force the Iranian nation into submission, because we are aware of the history of our country and the world, and we know any retreat in the confrontation with such savage creatures will entail nothing but humiliation," Iran's defense chief said.