Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a joint press conference with Iraqi President Barham Salih (not seen) in Baghdad, Iraq, March 11, 2019. (Photo: VCG)
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday that the government would file a legal case in Iran against U.S. officials who imposed sanctions on the country as a precursor to action in international courts.
Rouhani said in a speech broadcast live on state television that U.S. sanctions had created difficulties including a weaker rial currency that has fed into higher inflation.
The United States reimposed sanctions on Tehran after U.S. President Donald Trump chose last May to abandon Iran's 2015 nuclear accord, negotiated with five other world powers.
Rouhani said he had ordered the ministries of foreign affairs and justice "to file a legal case in Iranian courts against those in America who designed and imposed sanctions on Iran."
"These sanctions are crime against humanity," he added.
If the Iranian court finds against the U.S. officials, Iran will pursue the case in international courts of justice, the president said.
Iranian complaints about sanctions in the international courts have occasionally succeeded. In October, judges at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered the United States to ensure sanctions do not affect humanitarian aid or civil aviation safety, a small victory for Tehran.
"The Americans have only one goal: they want to come back to Iran and rule the nation again," Rouhani said, reiterating Tehran's view that U.S. sanctions are aimed at overthrowing the government and ushering in one more aligned with U.S. policies.