TEHRAN – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani sharply criticized the US administration after it introduced new sanctions against the political and military leadership of the Islamic Republic. The head of the Iranian government (the posts of president and prime minister in Iran are combined) called the new sanctions “outrageous and idiotic”, and the White House and its current owner, according to Rouhani, “suffer from mental retardation.”
In a speech that was broadcast live on Iran’s state television today, June 25, Rouhani said that personal sanctions by the United States against Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei were “useless” because he had no financial assets abroad.
“The actions of the White House mean that it is mentally retarded,” the Iranian president said. “Tehran’s strategic patience does not mean that we have fear.”
According to Rouhani, the new US sanctions against high-ranking Iranian officials, including Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif , have shown that Washington is “lying,” suggesting Tehran to enter into negotiations.
“When you call for negotiations, are you trying to punish the foreign minister? Obviously you are lying, ” the head of the executive said.
“The actions of Americans flout human rights and put pressure on all the people of Iran,” Rouhani said. “Today we feel that disappointment and confusion reign in the White House and the ruling circles of the United States. They thought that our country would fall apart within two to three months, but they saw that we only became stronger. ”
“The imposition of useless sanctions on the supreme leader of Iran is the final closure of the path to diplomacy,” said the spokesman for the Iranian foreign ministry Abbas Mousavi .
President Donald Trump told reporters, on the evening of June 24th, in the presence of Vice President Michael Pence and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that sanctions are a response to Tehran’s strike on an American drone last week. According to Trump, “new harsh sanctions” will deprive Iran’s spiritual leader Ayatollah Khamenei and other senior representatives of the Islamic Republic of access to financial instruments.
Recall, on June 20th, an American reconnaissance drone was shot down in Iranian airspace. According to the Iranian authorities, the incident occurred over the province of Hormozgan in the south of the country. State media of the Islamic Republic indicate that it was the RQ-4 Global Hawk reconnaissance drone. It is alleged that the drone violated Iranian airspace in the Strait of Hormuz, where it collected information and surveillance, after which it was shot down by Iranian air defense forces.
Donald Trump said on June 21 that he canceled a military strike on Iran, since it would be a “disproportionate attack” that could have killed about 150 people.
Given that such sanctions against Iranian leadership will have no affect, it raises questions as to whether the US president was in fact interested in sanctioning Iran after the failed US provocation on June 21st.