Iran Defense Minister: US ‘maximum pressure’ policy turned to ‘maximum begging’

Amir Hatami
Amir Hatami

Iran’s Defense Minister said the US has targeted Iran’s economy “because they think our weakness lies in our economy.”

:: Iran has turned the US’ “maximum-pressure” policy against Tehran to “maximum begging,” claimed Iran’s Defense Minister Amir Hatami on Sunday, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported.

“Resistance in our country has made the enemies go from maximum pressure to maximum begging,” said Hatami, adding that “today, there is no route other than the one taken during the Sacred Defense.”

The “Sacred Defense” is a term used by Iran to refer to the eight-year-long war with Iraq (1980-1988).

US President Donald Trump has pursued a policy of “maximum pressure” against Iran to try to force Tehran to change its destabilizing policies and activities in the region. Trump recently announced “the highest sanctions ever imposed on a country,” including sanctions on Iran’s central bank.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday took steps to bar senior Iranian officials and their immediate family from entering the US as immigrants or non-immigrants, the White House said in a proclamation.

According to Hatami, the US has targeted Iran’s economy “because they think our weakness lies in our economy.”

Rejecting the claims that Iran was behind the September 14 attacks on key Saudi oil facilities, he said that “the Saudis imagined that by accusing another country, they could save face. That is why they say Iran did this. Because if they accuse a powerful opponent, it would be less humiliating.”

Saudi Arabia announced on September 14 that drone attacks caused fires at two Saudi Aramco facilities.

While Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militia claimed responsibility for the Aramco attacks, multiple reports have cited US intelligence sources as saying the attacks originated from Iran. Last Sunday, The Wall Street Journal quoted two Saudi Arabian officials, who are in talks with the Houthis, as saying the Houthis admitted they had covered for Iran by claiming the attacks.

CBS News cited a US official as saying that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei approved the attacks that targeted Saudi Aramco’s oil facilities.

The source added that Khamenei approved the attacks on the condition that it be done in a way that Tehran could deny any involvement.

Iran has denied any involvement in the attacks. On Tuesday Britain, France, and Germany blamed Iran for the attacks.

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