Rouhani says Iran ‘very happy’ Trump leaving

President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday that Iran was “very happy” over the looming departure from office of US counterpart Donald Trump, who led a campaign of “maximum pressure” against the Islamic republic.

President-elect Joe Biden, who defeated Trump at the ballot box in November, has signalled a willingness to return to diplomacy with Iran after four tense years under the outgoing president.

“Some say you are overexcited by the advent of 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 final days,” Rouhani added, calling Trump a “tyrant”, “the most unruly, lawless president” and a “terrorist and murderer.”

The electoral college confirmed Biden as the next US president on Monday even as the incumbent continues to refuse to accept defeat.


The formal handover of power will take place on January 20 when Biden is sworn in.

Tensions between Tehran and Washington soared during Trump’s presidency as his administration sought to bring Israel and the Gulf Arab states closer together with a hard line against Iran.

In 2018, Trump pulled Washington out of a landmark nuclear deal with Tehran and reimposed punishing unilateral sanctions.

This January, Trump ordered an air strike near Baghdad airport which killed senior Iranian general Qasem Soleimani and drew retaliatory Iranian strikes targeting US troops in Iraq. 

Trump “creates obstacles for us purchasing (Covid-19) vaccines, (that is) how much this person is bereft of all ethical and human principles,” Rouhani said.

Iran is the Middle Eastern 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 are supposed to be exempt from US sanctions but in practice few if any banks are willing to risk processing Iranian transactions for fear of incurring heavy penalties in the US courts. 

Since Biden’s victory, Rouhani’s government has repeatedly signalled its openness to the incoming US administration, although Iran’s supreme leader has cautioned against hopes of an opening with the West.

Rouhani said the outcome of the US election showed the American people’s desire for a “law-abiding” president and called on the Biden administration to live up to the expectation.

“If it wants to be on the correct path, it’s there, and if it wants the wrong one, it’s also there,” he said.

© Agence France-Presse

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Agence France Presse
Agence France Presse works from worldwide. AFP Photo's official Twitter account. Tweeting news and features from Agence France-Presse's global photo network Agence France Presse has over 120540 followers on Twitter.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

Poachers in prisons tell their stories

Interviews with offenders provide insight into the structure of illegal wildlife trade networks

Covid-overflow hospital in ruins as SIU investigates

A high-level probe has begun into hundreds of millions of rand spent by the Gauteng health department to refurbish a hospital that is now seven months behind schedule – and lying empty

More top stories

The politics of the Zuma-Zondo showdown

Any move made by the Zondo commission head or by former president Jacob Zuma must be calculated, because one mistake from either side could lead to a political fallout

Museveni declared winner of disputed Uganda election

Security personnel out in force as longtime president wins sixth term and main challenger Bobi Wine alleges rigging.

Pay-TV inquiry probes the Multichoice monopoly

Africa’s largest subscription television operator says it is under threat amid the emerging popularity of global platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime

​No apology or comfort as another Marikana mother dies without...

Nomawethu Ma’Bhengu Sompeta, whose funeral will be held this weekend, was unequivocal in calling out the government for its response to the Marikana massacre
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…