Iranian President Hassan Rouhani mocked Donald Trump for failing to kill off the Iran nuclear deal despite the US leader’s 2016 election promise to do so.
Trump signed off on a waiver Friday to keep several sanctions on Iran suspended, essentially keeping the nuclear deal in effect.
The US President must sign such waivers every few months under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), an agreement brokered in 2015 that obliges Iran to restrict its nuclear program in exchange for the easing of sanctions.
Despite keeping the deal intact, Trump stirred ire in Tehran on Friday by announcing fresh separate sanctions on 14 Iranian individuals and entities at the same time. Among them was the head of Iran’s judiciary, Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani.
“It’s been one year since Trump has been trying to kill JCPOA and hasn’t been successful. This means victory of law over dictatorship,” Rouhani said Sunday, slamming the US for what he said were its attempts at “self-aggrandizing.”
State news agency IRNA reported him saying that Iran had proved it was right “and our enemies were wrong.”
“I am very happy to see that the White House has failed to disrupt international obligations, break loyalty and stand against the resolution of the United Nations Security Council which was the outcome of an agreement among seven countries,” he said.
Rouhani’s remarks were the latest in a tit-for-tat exchange between Trump and Iranian officials over the deal, as well as anti-government protests that took place across the country recently. Trump openly supported the protesters, who staged the biggest challenge to the Iranian regime since 2009. The US State Department also openly encouraged Iranians to protest.
Many of the new US sanctions on Iran were in response to the government’s crackdown on the largely peaceful protests. Others were linked to support for the country’s ballistic missile program, which falls outside the scope of the nuclear deal.
In a bizarre kicker in the waiver announcement, the US indicated it hoped to rewrite much of the nuclear agreement and to get its European allies, who wholly back the deal as it is, to do the bargaining for it. European foreign ministers on Thursday urged Trump to sign the waiver and support the deal.
The 2015 agreement was brokered by the Obama administration, along with the UK, Russia, France, Germany and China.