Tehran, Iran – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said the Trump administration, which he alleged aimed to overthrow Iran, has been “abjectly struck down” by its own people in the 2020 US elections.
In a televised cabinet speech on Wednesday, Rouhani said the current American leader, who has been projected as the loser of the presidential elections but has refused to concede, was goaded into abandoning the Iran nuclear deal “with childish and delusional conceptions”.
“The regime that dreamt of the Iranian establishment’s downfall has been itself abjectly struck down, and today all countries – except the few that have always followed the regime – see different circumstances in front of them,” Rouhani said.
The Iranian official pointed out that US President-elect Joe Biden has said he wishes to return to the historic nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers in 2015.
“This is up to them. If they implement their responsibilities they can choose a new path,” Rouhani said.
“The policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran are very clear, based on peace and stability in the region, respecting the rights of nations, not infringing or interfering in countries’ internal affairs, combating terrorism, ending unilateralism, and adhering to accords and constructive cooperation.”
‘Betting on outsiders’
The president said the end of the Trump administration signals the removal of an “intrusive factor” that will allow the region to better focus on its interests and for Iran to have better relations with its neighbours.
Earlier this week, Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a tweet that “Trump’s gone in 70 days but we’ll remain here forever” in a message to Iran’s neighbours to stop “betting on outsiders” and turn to dialogue to resolve issues.
Zarif’s message came a day after media reports said the US was planning a “flood” of new sanctions against Tehran in coordination with Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
US Special Representative on Iran Elliott Abrams was in Israel on Sunday and Monday to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the new sanctions and will travel to Riyadh and Abu Dhabi next.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is also expected to travel to the region soon to coordinate Iran action among other things.
The United States on November 10 imposed sanctions on six companies and four people for alleged weapons of mass destruction proliferation and supplying sensitive goods to an Iranian military firm.
Trump also “terminated” Pentagon chief Mark Esper and is reportedly considering firing other top defence and intelligence officials, in a move that has prompted concerns over potential conflicts in the Middle East – in Iran in particular – in the less than two months left until Biden assumes office.
‘Iran neither frightened nor ecstatic’
On Wednesday, deputy Iranian foreign minister Abbas Araghchi said in an interview with state-run IRNA that Iran will neither be “frightened” if Trump stays nor “ecstatic” if Biden prevails.
“We will decide and behave based on our own interests,” he said.
A day before his cabinet speech, President Rouhani addressed a virtual meeting of the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and blasted the United States.
He said the Trump administration’s “bullying” approach in the past few years posed a serious threat to economic and political multilateralism.
“The results of the US elections showed that not only the world is opposed to the incorrect policies of the current US administration, but the American people have had enough as well,” said Rouhani.
Rouhani said this shows the foreign policy of a country that always resorts to threats and sanctions has “certainly lost its way”.
After reneging on the landmark Iran nuclear deal in May 2018, the Trump administration has pursued a “maximum pressure” campaign of harsh economic sanctions on Iran.
It has included torrents of nuclear and non-nuclear sanctions that could prove more difficult to lift for a Biden administration.
In a news conference in Tehran on November 10, government spokesman Ali Rabiei called on the US to put an end to Trump’s approach and work to make up for his mistakes.
“Returning to the [nuclear deal] and a commitment without conditions to all its requirements is a step that can be taken to correct US policies,” he said.