TEHRAN, Iran – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that Iran was “very happy” to leave the office of US representative Donald Trump, who led a “maximum pressure” campaign against the Islamic Republic.
U.S. President Joe Biden, who defeated Trump at the ballot box in November, has signed a willingness to return to diplomacy with Iran after four tense years under the outgoing president.
But Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also warned that leaving Trump does not mean better relations between the two countries immediately.
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“Some people say that too many people came to them when Mr. Biden. No, we are not, but we are very happy to see Trump leave, “he said in televised comments at a cabinet meeting.
“Thank God, these are his last days,” Rouhani added, shouting Trump as a “traitor,” “the most unruly, lawless president” and “a terrorist and a murderer.”
The college confirmed Biden’s election as the next U.S. president on Monday even as the owner refuses to accept a loss.
Power will be formally handed over on January 20 when Biden is handed over.
Tensions between Tehran and Washington escalated significantly during Trump’s presidency as his administration sought to bring Israel and the Gulf states closer together with a hard line against Iran.
In 2018, Trump withdrew Washington from a landmark nuclear deal with Tehran and again imposed penalties on unilateral sanctions.
This January, Trump ordered a flight near Baghdad airport that killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and triggered Iranian revenge strikes aimed at U.S. troops in Iraq.
Trump “is creating barriers for us to buy [COVID-19] vaccines, [that is] the extent to which this person is subject to ethical and human principles, ”said Rouhani.
Iran is the Middle East country hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic with 52,670 deaths from more than 1.1 million cases, according to official figures.
Vaccines and other humanitarian goods should be exempt from U.S. sanctions but in practice there is little if banks are willing to risk the processing of Iranian affairs for fear of heavy penalties in U.S. courts .
Since Biden won, the Rouhani government has reappeared openly to the incoming U.S. administration, although Khamenei has warned against hopes of opening up with the West.
Rouhani said the U.S. election result reflected the American people’s desire for a “law-abiding” president and called on Biden’s administration to live up to expectations.
“If he wants to be on the right track, he is there, and if he wants the wrong one, he is there too,” he said.
Speaking later Wednesday, Khamenei said U.S. “enmities” against Iran would not stop with the impending resignation of Trump.
He reiterated his commitment that Iran should support itself in imposing “sanctions” imposed by the Trump administration, but that they should not “delay” if lifted.
“You saw what Trump America and Obama America did for you,” he was quoted as saying on his official website.
“Trump’s enmities are not limited to America and will not end just because he has resigned,” Khamenei said, speaking to the family of Iranian chief general Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in an air strike in January the USA in nearby Iraq.
“Don’t trust the enemy, this is my obvious advice.”
Khamenei insisted that if sanctions “cannot be lifted, we should not delay it for even an hour.”
But he warned: “Don’t trust me [others’] promising to solve people’s problems [and] do not forget enmities.
“I will support the country’s authorities on the condition that they stay true to their goals.”
The meeting at Khamenei with the family of the murdered general was his first public engagement since an official moved near his office to hear rumors about his health last week.
Comments come as Iran approaches the first anniversary of a US drone strike that killed Soleimani, head of the Quds Corps Force of the Revolutionary Islam, an attack that forced Washington and Tehran to go to war open after months of tightening. In the past few weeks, a scientist who set up an Iranian nuclear weapons program two decades ago has been shot down in an attack in a rural area outside Tehran that the Associated Press admitted for the first time Wednesday.
Khamenei spoke in Tehran at the hall of Imam Khomeini Hosseinieh, or congregation, where he met the Soleimani family and top military leaders. They all sat about 5 meters (16 feet) away from the 81-year-old Khamenei, who was wearing a face mask because of the still-spreading coronavirus infection in Iran.
In response to Soleimani’s death, Tehran launched a ballistic missile attack that wounded dozens of U.S. troops in Iraq. That same night, he also fired through the error of a Ukrainian aircraft taking off from Tehran, killing all 176 people on board.
In a bid to put pressure on Europe, Iran’s parliament recently passed a bill calling on Tehran to increase its uranium enrichment to 20%, a short technical step away from military standards, and throw in international investigators out. The Rouhani government has opposed the bill, citing unrest within Iran’s civilian government that the prime minister appeared to have rubbed off in his speech Wednesday.
That bill came after the Nov. 27 murder of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was in charge of an AMAD project called Iran, which Israel and the West have said are looking at military operations looking at the potential of nuclear weapons. construction. The International Atomic Energy Agency states that the “structured program” ended in 2003. This assessment was approved by the U.S. intelligence agencies in a 2007 report and approved by the State Department. as far as last year.
Israel, suspected of killing Fakhrizadeh, maintains that Iran is still pursuing its goal of developing a nuclear weapon, citing Tehran’s ballistic missile program and research on other technologies . Iran has maintained that its nuclear program is peaceful.
Fakhrizadeh was named by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2018 as the leader of Iran’s fake nuclear weapons project. When Netanyahu then revealed that Israel had extracted a large archive of Iranian material itself from a warehouse in Tehran, he said: “Remember that name, Fakhrizadeh.”
He was also an officer in the Revolutionary Guards Corps in Iran, declared by the US as a terrorist organization.
Israel has long been suspected of carrying out a series of targeted killings of Iranian nuclear scientists nearly a decade ago, in an attempt to thwart Iran’s fraudulent nuclear weapons program. He did not comment officially on the matter.
Israeli officials have warned Israeli citizens traveling abroad that they may be the targets of Iranian terrorist attacks after their assassination, and warned former Israeli nuclear scientists that they could being in Iranian crosses.
Israeli Times employees contributed to this report.