EghtesadOnline: Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday the US "maximum pressure" strategy against Iran has failed, promising that Tehran will continue to reduce its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal until it achieves the "desired result".
"The Americans had assumed that they would be able to make Iran surrender, particularly in the economic field, by exerting maximum pressure. However, they got themselves in trouble by doing so," the Leader said in a meeting with senior commanders of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps in Tehran, his website reported.
He added that the Americans failed in their efforts to arrange a meeting with President Hassan Rouhani even with the help of their European allies, which they needed as "a symbol of Iranian defeat".
The Leader was referring to European efforts to set up a meeting between Rouhani and US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York late last month, with the aim of defusing tensions between Tehran and Washington, according to Financial Tribune.
Citing French officials, the American magazine Politico reported on Tuesday that the two leaders had agreed on a four-point document brokered by French President Emmanuel Macron in New York, but they ended up not meeting after the Iranian president insisted that Trump first declare the removal of US sanctions.
The relationship between the two countries has worsened since Trump abandoned the Iranian nuclear agreement last year and imposed sweeping sanctions on Iran's economy, including its vital oil sector.
In response, Iran has been surpassing the limits outlined in the nuclear accord on its atomic activities step by step, while reiterating that its measures are "reversible".
"The reduction of nuclear commitments announced by the government, which falls within the responsibility of the Atomic Energy Organization [of Iran], should be carried out in a precise, complete and comprehensive manner and continue until the time we reach a desired result, which is a foregone conclusion," Ayatollah Khamenei said.
He also said the "short-term" problem of oil sanctions can be turned into "long-term" opportunities if domestic potential is used properly and serious efforts are made to reduce economic reliance on oil.
Echoing similar views, Rouhani told a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday that US anti-Iran policies have failed and Tehran's resistance in the face of foreign pressure has helped elevate its status in the world.
The president said the plan brokered by France is "broadly acceptable", but its wordings need to be changed, his website reported.
He added that the plan reiterates Iran’s pledge to not pursue nuclear weapons and contribute to the security of the region and its waterways while Washington will remove all sanctions and allow Iran to immediately resume oil sales.
However, no "final solution" was in sight in New York and the US administration's mixed messages about sanctions have complicated the situation, Rouhani said.
He thanked France and other countries who have been trying to help deescalate tensions and said the White House is to be blamed for the failure of such efforts.
Rouhani noted that the door to diplomacy remains open, adding that Iran will only agree to a solution that will respect its dignity.