Iranian supreme leader claims the United States is losing influence in the world
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Saturday that President Donald Trump has "disgraced" US prestige and would be the ultimate loser from renewing sanctions on the Islamic republic.
"This new US president ... has disgraced the remnant of America's prestige and that of liberal democracy. America's hard power, that is to say their economic and military power, is declining too," he said on his Farsi-language Twitter account, quoting a speech in Tehran.
A defiant Khamenei dismissed the renewed US sanctions, including an oil embargo, that take effect on Monday.
"The challenge between the US and Iran has lasted for 40 years so far, and the US has made various efforts against us: military, economic and media warfare," he said.
"There's a key fact here: in this 40-year challenge, the defeated is the US and the victorious is the Islamic republic."
Trump announced in May he was withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal and reimposing sanctions, sparking outrage among world powers who say Iran has been complying with commitments to restrict its atomic programme.
Washington says it wants a new deal with Iran, curtailing its regional interventions and missile programme, demands which have been flatly rejected by Tehran.
The US sanctions, set to come into effect on 5 November, will hit Iran's petroleum sales and transport activities, among other areas.
These include the country's shipping and port operations, as well as banking transactions carried out by the National Iranian Oil Company and the Central Bank of Iran.
"Iran has been sanctioned for more than 40 years. It is not something new," said Seyed Hossein Mousavian, a former Iranian diplomat and Middle East policy specialist at Princeton University who specialises in the effects of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.
"Iran is the most experienced country in the world [at] handling sanctions. I don't believe any other country in this region has the experience, capacity or scale to resist against sanctions," Mousavian told MEE.
Despite its bullish response to Trump, Iran's foreign minister spoke with European leaders on Saturday seeking assurances on their support for the nuclear deal.
The EU, France, Germany and Britain said in a joint statement on Friday they regretted Trump's decision to restore sanctions on Iran, the world's third-largest oil exporter.