President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday that Iran would withstand the economic pain of falling oil prices, suggesting Saudi Arabia would suffer more in the long run from the current slump.
Iran has been among the oil exporting countries worst hit by a more than 50 percent slide in the price of crude in recent months, given its budget was based on sales at $100 per barrel.
In a draft budget for the financial year starting March 21, Rouhani's government reduced the projected sale price to $72 but crude has since fallen below $50, again raising the prospect of a ballooning deficit.
However, the president said Saudi Arabia and Kuwait had much more to lose as only one third of Iran's spending for next year was projected to come from oil.
"You should know that other producing countries such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will be harmed more than Iran," he told a crowd in the southern port city of Bushehr.
"Saudi Arabia's budget reliance on oil sales is 80 percent and 90 percent of its annual exports are related to oil. Kuwait's budget is 95 percent reliant on oil."
Rouhani has in recent months stressed the need to increase non-oil exports to compensate for the fall in revenue from oil sales.
He also denounced the fall in crude prices as "a plot that will be overcome with unity and resistance".
"Those who have planned the oil price reduction against some countries should know that they will regret it," he said.
Rouhani was elected in 2013 on a pledge to revive Iran's sanctions-battered economy, which his government has lifted out of recession but which is still suffering from inflation and underinvestment.
By seeking a nuclear deal with world powers, Rouhani aims to end the sanctions-era and open Iran up to foreign companies under partnership deals.
In Bushehr, he implicitly warned US lawmakers against adopting any new sanctions, saying they would fail as his country was beginning to recover from years of isolation.
His comments came after Republicans in the US Congress said they were preparing new sanctions against the Islamic republic to force concessions.