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U.S. Sanctions Taking Last Breaths, Says Rouhani

IRAN -- A handout picture provided by the Iranian presidency on October 28, 2020 shows President Hassan Rouhani chairing a cabinet meeting in the capital Tehran.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that the U.S. sanctions imposed on the nation were taking their "last breaths."

"When $50 billions of Iranian oil sales are not in the country [frozen abroad], it is obvious that the people suffer," Rouhani told a cabinet meeting, adding that Iran is in a "state of war" and "there are casualties, and the lives of the people are becoming difficult."

This is while Islamic Republic’s support for Shiite militant groups across the Middle East along with undisclosed funds of the tax-exempt state run corporations have been pointed out by critics as major reasons of intensifying the hardship.

Since the U.S. withdrew from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal with world powers, not only have Washington’s sanctions against Tehran have been reinstated, but the administration of President Donald Trump has also added many other Iranian government officials to its sanctions list.

The severity of the sanctions and the consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak along with what experts view as major mismanagement and corruption in the system have led to soaring prices for foreign currencies and a variety of essential goods in Iran.

In another part of his remarks, Rouhani said that he "feels and senses" the people's problems, and all government's efforts are focused on "reducing these difficulties."

Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani said, "The government fully understands the problems of the people and has made every effort to resolve them.

Rouhani further claimed that Washington's recent sanctions indicate "Iran's success and U.S. desperation” without pointing out his reasons.

President Trump previously said that he is ready for a new round of talks with Iran to reach a comprehensive agreement, which will also cover Iran’s missile program and role in the region. Washington has repeatedly accused Iran of "destabilizing" the regional and threatening global peace and security.

Nonetheless, Iranian officials, particularly Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have rejected any talks with the President Trump administration, calling it "poisonous."

Democratic nominee Joe Biden is the current front runner in the U.S. November 3 presidential election, which could pave the way for easing sanctions and even possible talks between Tehran and Washington.

However, the U.S. envoy to Venezuela and Iran, Elliott Abrams, noted on October 26 that even if Biden wins next week's presidential election, lifting sanctions on Iran will be no easy task.

"Those who think that Biden will take over the presidency in January and that all sanctions will be lifted within two or three days of his presidency will find that even if they (Democrats) want to lift the sanctions, this will not be possible," Abrams said.

In recent days, U.S. officials have accused Tehran of meddling in the election to prevent Trump from winning. Iran has denied the allegations.