Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed a defiant stance against US sanctions, renewing his threat to cut international oil sales from the Gulf. "America should know … it can not prevent the export of Iranian oil," Rouhani said during a TV event in the province of Semnan.
"If you ever try to do it … no oil will be exported from the Persian Gulf," he added.
Since the 1980s, Iran has repeatedly stated that it would block the Gulf in response to international pressure, but has never completed the threat.
Washington has re-established sanctions, including an oil embargo, since it withdrew from an important 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and the major powers in May.
He promised to reduce Iran's oil sales to zero, but granted temporary exemptions to eight countries.
Rouhani threatened to close the Gulf in July, when he warned that the United States "should not play with the lion's tail".
The president has minimized the economic impact of sanctions, accusing the media of exaggerating the country's problems.
"No hyperinflation, no massive unemployment will threaten us, people should stop saying these things in the newspapers," he told the crowd.
The Iranian central bank's latest inflation report states that food prices have increased by 56% year-on-year in October.
Rouhani acknowledged that there were "some problems", but said that these would be addressed in the new budget plan to be presented on December 16th.
He said the government would maintain subsidies on essential assets and increase public sector wages and pensions by 20 percent.