Iran‘s Rouhani at U.N. dismisses U.S. sanctions as ‘psychological warfare‘

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani responded to US President Donald Trump‘s pledge to impose  "tougher than ever before" sanctions on Iran, in a speech at the United Nations Wednesday.

There is "nothing new" in the US sanctions against the Islamic Republic, Rouhani said, and dismissed them as intended to put psychological pressure on Iran.

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However, Rouhani said that Iran does not seek direct confrontation with the United States. "We do not wish to go to war with American forces anywhere in the region," he said.

Rouhani added that Iran will remain in the 2015 nuclear deal "as long as it serves its interests."

Speaking earlier Wednesday, Trump warned Iran that his administration will soon go beyond previous sanctions regimes by imposing the "toughest" financial penalties ever designed.

Chairing a session of the UN Security Council on nonproliferation in New York, the president continued his rhetorical broadside of the Islamic Republic for a second day after undressing Tehran the day before in a speech to the General Assembly.

"The Iranian regime exports violence, terror and turmoil. It illicitly procures sensitive items to advance its ballistic missile program," Trump said, calling on international partners to pressure Iran to end its missile work. The president once again criticized a nuclear deal with Iran endorsed by the council three years ago as a "horrible, one-sided deal allowed Iran to continue its path to a bomb and gave Iran a financial lifeline when they needed it the most."

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Michael Wilner contributed to this report.

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