President Rouhani says Iran’s missile programme and regional activities remain non-negotiable.
Tehran, Iran – While Iran is not “excited” by Joe Biden taking over at the White House, it was “very happy” to see the end of Donald Trump’s reign as US president, according to Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani.
Addressing a televised meeting of the cabinet on Wednesday, Rouhani called Trump “rogue” and “the most lawbreaking person in the US”.
“We are not very excited with Biden coming, but we are very happy with Trump going,” Rouhani said.
“A person who committed so many atrocities, who was a killer, a terrorist, who doesn’t even spare our vaccine efforts. This is how much this person is bereft of all ethical and human principles.”
Iran is dealing with the largest and deadliest COVID-19 pandemic in the Middle East.
It maintains that the Trump administration has been actively trying to block its efforts to buy a vaccine through the World Health Organization.
Iran has been under harsh economic sanctions by the US since 2018 when Trump unilaterally withdrew from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
Biden has promised to return the US to the deal and lift sanctions if Iran complies with its terms but has also said negotiations are needed to address Iran’s missiles programme and regional activities, something Iran rejects.
‘Iran stronger now than 2015’
Rouhani also responded to what he called claims by foreign and local media that say Iran’s conditions are different than 2015 for negotiations as the country is under more pressure.
The president agreed that conditions were different but added they favour Iran more now than they did when the nuclear deal was being finalised.
Rouhani added that Iran used to import petrol, gasoline, natural gas and wheat among other things in 2015, but it now exports them.
“Our strength today cannot even be compared to that time,” he said, adding that Iran’s missiles, military and nuclear programmes have become much more empowered.