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Iran's foreign minister says USA sanctions are 'economic terrorism'

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Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani at a government meeting

Last month, Ankara agreed to halt its imports of Iranian crude oil amid fears of U.S. sanctions, but criticised Washington's move to end the oil import waivers granted to Turkey and over half a dozen other countries.

Brian Hook, the State Department's special representative on Iran, said in March that Iran has lost about $10 billion in revenue as a result of US sanctions that went into effect in November, an amount that has surely risen since then.

The military hardware was dispatched to the Middle East in May citing "credible threats" from Iran to which the US did not offer evidence. Rouhani had suggested on Saturday that Iran might be willing to hold talks if Washington showed it respect, but said Tehran would not be pressured into talks.

Tension between the US and Iran has increased sharply in the past month, after Iran chose to partially abandon the 2015 nuclear deal aimed at curbing Tehran's nuclear program.

Amid mounting concern that Washington's recent military build-up in the Gulf region will lead to renewed conflict, many commentators appear to have lost sight of the Trump administration's key objective when it withdrew from the 2015 deal negotiated, in large part, by former US President Barack Obama.

Trump said last week that Iran "has a chance to be a great country, with the same leadership". "And if they want to talk, I'm available". "I even want to get along with Iran, and Iran wants to talk", Trump told reporters on Thursday.

However, Zarif said that Iran is so powerful that it can stand against any threat.

To date, the Iranians have responded to the Trump administration's actions by threatening to intensify their policy of destabilization in the region. "It does not work in dealing with Iran", he said.

It may progress in the market, but not with Iran, Yavad Zarif said, and added that it can be effective with other nations in a short period and not in the long term, "but not with Iran in a short period, or in the medium and long term".

But Zarif warned that "there will be consequences" if the USA continues adding more economic sanctions.

Since Donald Trump was elected as the US President, relations between Washington and Tehran have continued to spiral out of control.

In principle, sales of petrochemicals, including ammonia, methanol and urea, are already banned under existing US sanctions but enforcement hasn't been robust.

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