Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that U.S. sanctions announced last week have had no effect on Iran's economy because Washington had already practically reimposed them earlier.
"The sanctions have had no impact on our economy because America had already used all the weapons at its disposal and there was nothing new to use against us," Rouhani said in remarks carried live on state television.
Since the beginning of the year when President Donald Trump appeared to be tilting towards pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal, the Iranian economy began showing signs of serious stress.
The Iranian currency rial has dropped against the U.S. dollar and other major currencies five-fold. Labor unrest has increased and double-digit inflation has made life very hard for ordinary people.
Rouhani also said that the U.S. can never bring Iran's oil exports to zero and the sanctions are mainly a means for "psychological warfare".
However, figures from OPEC and other sources indicate that Iran's oil exports have halved since Trump officially pulled out of the nuclear deal in May.
The U.S. has extended temporary waivers to eight friendly countries to continue buying a limited amount of Iranian oil. Although senior U.S. officials have proclaimed a goal of zero Iranian oil exports, they have also indicated that lower exports would satisfy Washington aim of putting pressure on Tehran.
Trump pulled out of the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal, complaining that it is a weak instrument and has also demanded Iran change its policies in the region.