TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Commander Major General Hossein Salami highlighted the positive effect of US sanctions against Iran and said they have helped the Islamic Republic to reached its economic and political independence.

– Politics news –

“Past experiences have shown that enemies cannot infiltrate (into the country) and that currently, they are unable to pursue their goals,” Major General Salami told reporters in the northeastern holy city of Mashhad on Thursday.

“Sanctions cannot stop our progress,” he said, adding that however, they create space for Iran to focus its attention on its capacities.

If there were no sanctions, Iran would not return to its indigenous capabilities and would not achieve its economic and political independence, the commander went on to say.

The remarks come against the backdrop of increased tensions between Iran and the US with Washington imposing new sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

The US has ratcheted up pressure on Iran since last year after withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Since then, the administration of US President Donald Trump is trying to reduce Iran’s oil exports to “zero,” and has sent an aircraft carrier strike group, a bomber squad, an amphibious assault ship, and a Patriot missile battery to the Middle East to try to stack up pressure on Tehran.

Iranian officials, however, have dismissed such moves as psychological warfare, saying the country has its own ways of circumventing the American bans and selling crude oil.

In comments on April 24, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said the US’ attempts to block the export of Iranian oil will get nowhere as Tehran will be exporting any amount of crude it needs and wants.