Iran vows to defeat US 'economic war'

Iranian Defence Minister Amir Hatami speaks at a security conference in Moscow on April 4, 2018 (AFP Photo/Alexander NEMENOV)

Tehran (AFP) - Iran's Defence Minister Brigadier-General Amir Hatami vowed Wednesday to inflict the "bitter taste of defeat" on the United States in its "economic war" on the Islamic republic.

Hatami was speaking to Revolutionary Guards veterans in Tehran with tensions riding high a year after President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Iran nuclear deal, leading to renewed economic sanctions on Tehran.

The relations between the two countries have deteriorated even further in recent weeks as the Trump administration ratchets up pressure on Iran over alleged threats from Tehran.

"The proud nation of Islamic Iran will once again... pass this sensitive period of time with its head held high, and force the bitter taste of defeat onto the American-Zionist alliance," Hatami said, referring to the US and its ally Israel.

Washington said on Saturday that in response to the alleged threats from Iran it was deploying an amphibious assault ship and a Patriot missile battery to bolster an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers already sent to the region

President Hassan Rouhani later condemned the US sanctions on his country.

"The hard times and problems of America’s economic war against Iran have begun... what America is doing is a crime against humanity," he said.

Rouhani accused the US of disrupting the flow of "livelihood, food and medical drugs" to normal Iranians.

"This war is not against the government of the Islamic republic of Iran, it’s against the Iranian nation,” he said.