August 18, 2018 / 1:37 PM / 3 months ago

Iran says its economy not at 'dead end' from U.S. sanctions

FILE PHOTO: Iran's Vice President Eshagh Jahangiri delivers a speech during a welcoming ceremony for delegates of the G77+ China Summit alongside supporters of Bolivian President Evo Morales at Tahuichi Aguilera Stadium in Santa Cruz de la Sierra June 14, 2014. REUTERS/Enrique Castro-Mendivil

LONDON (Reuters) - Iran said on Saturday it would resist the pressures of U.S. sanctions by relying on its natural and human resources, as Washington pushes allies to cut economic ties with Tehran.

“It is a critical moment for our economy, but we are not in a dead end,” Vice President Eshagh Jahangiri was quoted as saying by the state news agency IRNA.

“This country has plenty of human and natural resources that can rely on.”

“The size of our oil and gas resources is number one in the world. In minerals and metals we are among the top 10 countries,” Jahangiri said.

Washington has withdrawn from a deal that had lifted sanctions on Tehran in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

Sanctions imposed in August target Iran’s trade in gold and other precious metals, its purchases of U.S. dollars and its car industry.

U.S. President Donald Trump has said a new round of sanctions will be imposed in November, targeting Iranian oil sales.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei last week rejected Trump’s offer of talks.

Iran’s rial currency has lost about half of its value since April, driven mainly by heavy demand for dollars among ordinary Iranians trying to protect their savings.

Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin; editing by Andrew Roche

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