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Iranian Leaders Defiant in the Wake of US Oil Sanctions

In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a cabinet meeting in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, April 24, 2019.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says his country must resist U.S. sanctions because the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump does not intend to negotiate in good faith with the Islamic republic.

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In his first remarks since the U.S. tightened oil sanctions against Iran earlier this week, Rouhani said Wednesday, "The U.S. is not ready to hold negotiations at all and its measures are aimed at breaking up the Iranian nation." Rouhani went onto say Iran will "have to make the U.S. regret its decision for which we have no choice but to resist."

The Trump administration announced Tuesday a May 2 end to sanctions waivers that allowed some countries to import Iranian oil. The United States has further escalated pressure on Tehran by declaring Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist group.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said despite the U.S. actions, Iran would still be "able to export our oil to the extent that we need and when we decide." He added the actions will not "remain without an answer," but did not provide details.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also warned the United States, saying at an Asia Society event in New York it should "be prepared for the consequences" if it tries to stop Iran from finding buyers of its oil and using the Strait of Hormuz to transport it.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo justified ending the temporary waivers that were granted at a news conference Monday. "The goal remains simple: to deprive the outlaw regime of the funds it has used to destabilize the Middle East;" he said.