Iran rubbishes US sanctions, still hopeful for nuclear deal
Iran's top officials are striking a defiant tone over Washington's attempts to end its oil exports through sanctions following Donald Trump's withdrawal from a nuclear deal.
On Monday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said US sanctions on Iran were part of an American "psychological war" against Tehran and vowed that Washington's efforts to isolate his country will fail.
Rouhani also said Iran was determined to continue to export its crude oil.
"America blames us for its failures in the region ... from Yemen to Iraq... We will not yield to this pressure that is part of the psychological war against Iran," Rouhani said in a speech in the city of Khoy.
"They have failed to stop our oil exports. We will keep exporting it.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi also said on Monday his country was still hopeful Europe can save the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and six major powers, despite the withdrawal of the United States.
"There are some ambiguities on implementation of EU's mechanism to protect trade with Iran from America's sanctions... But we remain hopeful that the Europeans can save the deal," Qasemi told reporters in Tehran.
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt is due to visit Iran for the first time on Monday for talks about the nuclear deal and freeing UK nationals held in Iranian jails.
Iran has been abiding by the terms of its nuclear deal with global powers, the latest report from the UN atomic watchdog indicated last week, days after fresh US sanctions hit the country.
US President Donald Trump has dramatically increased pressure on Tehran, withdrawing from an international agreement aimed at ending its nuclear programme and introducing several rounds of unilateral sanctions.