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Rouhani Calls US Sanctions 'Economic Terrorism'

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani gives a public speech during a trip to the northern Iranian city of Shahroud, December 4, 2018

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani unleashed a barrage of warnings and accusations at the Unites States on Saturday for having impost tough sanctions on his country.

Rouhani said that there could be a "deluge" of drugs, refugees and attacks on the West if reimposed sanctions weaken Iran's ability to contain these issues.

"I warn those who impose sanctions that if Iran's ability to fight drugs and terrorism are affected ... you will not be safe from a deluge of drugs, asylum seekers, bombs and terrorism," Rouhani said in a speech carried live on state television.

The U.S. administration accuses Iran of destabilizing the region by providing support to a myriad of militant groups, from Yemen, Iraq to Lebanon. In addition to President Donald Trump’s concern over Iran’s nuclear intentions, the U.S. is demanding Iran change it “behavior”.

Rouhani also said U.S. sanctions were "economic terrorism", as he sought to foster a united front from visiting regional officials.

"America's unjust and illegal sanctions against the honorable nation of Iran have targeted our nation as a clear instance of terrorism," Rouhani told a conference in Tehran attended by officials from Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Russia and Turkey.

"Economic terrorism is designed to create panic in the economy of a country and fear in other countries in order to prevent investment in the target country," he added.

Iran’s economic conditions have seriously deteriorated in the past year, as inherent weaknesses have been compounded, first by the specter of renewed U.S. sanctions, and from May by the imposition of those sanctions.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP