Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

“The failure of the sanctions would mean defeat for America, and the US should once again be slapped in the face by the Iranian nation,” Khamenei said. 

Addressing some 100,000 Basiji members and senior military officials at Azadi Stadium in Tehran on Thursday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared that the US has failed to defeat Iran and therefore “has no other option but waging economic sanctions as it is facing a dead end in every other corner.”

However, he added that “economic sanctions are more fragile than our national economy,” Iran’s Fars News reported.

The first set of US sanctions against Iran that were eased under the controversial nuclear accord went back into effect in August under an executive order signed by President Donald Trump, targeting financial transactions that involve US dollars, Iran’s automotive sector, the purchase of commercial planes and metals, including gold.

US sanctions targeting Iran’s oil sector and central bank are to be reimposed in early November.

Khamenei believes that Iran’s “national economy can beat the sanctions. The failure of the sanctions would mean defeat for America, and the US should once again be slapped in the face by the Iranian nation, God willing, with this defeat.”

He said that those promoting the notion of surrender to the US “are traitors to the country.”

The US’ enmity towards Iran is not merely due to “Death to America” chants, Khamenei asserted. “They (the Americans) are afraid of Islamic power and the Revolution’s might.”

‘An Important Moment for Israel’

The sanctions and months of uncertainty have already hurt Iran’s economy. The country’s rial currency has tanked, and the downturn has sparked protests across the nation.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in August congratulated Trump and the US administration for “making the important decision to impose sanctions on Iran. This is an important moment for Israel, the US, the region and the entire world.”

Netanyahu called upon the European countries, “which talk about stopping Iran, to join this measure. The time has come to stop talking and to take action, and that is exactly what the US has done and what Europe should do.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said sanctions are an important pillar in US policy toward Iran and will remain in place until the Iranian government radically changes course.

“They’ve got to behave like a normal country. That’s the ask. It’s pretty simple,” said Pompeo.