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Rouhani says Iran faces ‘war situation’ as US sanctions take effect

Rouhani says Iran faces ‘war situation’ as US sanctions take effect
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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Monday said Iran is facing a "war situation" as the final round of U.S. sanctions against Tehran takes effect. 

Rouhani, during remarks made on state television, compared President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rages against '60 Minutes' for interview with Krebs Cornyn spox: Neera Tanden has 'no chance' of being confirmed as Biden's OMB pick Pa. lawmaker was informed of positive coronavirus test while meeting with Trump: report MORE to Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, saying there is "no difference" between the U.S. president and the man who led a war against Iran in the 1980s.

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“We are in the war situation,” Rouhani said, according to The Associated Press. “We are in the economic war situation. We are confronting a bullying enemy. We have to stand to win.” 

The Trump administration on Monday reimposed the last set of sanctions lifted under the Iran nuclear deal. In addition to hitting Iran's energy sector, Monday’s sanctions will target Iran’s shipping, shipbuilding and financial sectors.

The sanctions could be particularly harmful to Iran's vital oil industry.

“America wanted to cut to zero Iran’s oil sales ... but we will continue to sell our oil ... to break sanctions,” Rouhani said, according to Reuters.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed in a call with reporters that the administration will grant waivers to eight “jurisdictions” when it reimposes oil and gas sanctions. Those countries include China, India, South Korea, Japan and Turkey. 

“This part of the campaign about which we’re speaking today is simple: It is aimed at depriving the regime of the revenues that it uses to spread death and destruction around the world,” Pompeo said. 

The 2015 Iranian nuclear deal rolled back sanctions against Tehran in exchange for a reduction in the country's nuclear abilities. The sanctions have been reimposed in stages, with the final set going into effect on Monday. 

Pompeo and Trump have emphasized that they hope to target the country's government over its "malign activities" in the Middle East and its nuclear weapons. 

Trump on Friday evening reasserted his openness to reaching a new Iran deal "that forever blocks its path to a nuclear weapon, addresses the entire range of its malign actions, and is worthy of the Iranian people."