Iranian President Hassan Rouhani demanded an apology from President Trump for the commander in chief’s castigating of the Islamic Republic at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.
Trump, who said today that he’s decided whether the U.S. will remain party to the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran, in his Tuesday address called it “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into — frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it, believe me.”
As Iran’s representatives looked on, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu enthusiastically nodded, Trump said it’s “far past time for the nations of the world to confront another reckless regime, one that speaks openly of mass murder, vowing death to America, destruction to Israel and ruin for many leaders and nations in this room.”
“The Iranian government masks a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of a democracy. It has turned a wealthy country with a rich history and culture into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed and chaos,” he said. “The longest suffering victims of Iran’s leaders are, in fact, its own people. Rather than use its resources to improve Iranian lives, its oil profits go to fund Hezbollah and other terrorists that kill innocent Muslims and attack their peaceful Arab and Israeli neighbors.”
At a press conference in New York today, Rouhani declared, “Mr. Trump was offensive to Iran, and we are waiting for Mr. Trump to apologize to the people of Iran.”
The mullah predicted that any U.S. decision to leave the nuclear agreement would be “condemned by the American people” and allied nations because “breaking the agreement is not something that can be defensible.”
In his address to the General Assembly, Rouhani said the nuclear pact “can become a new model for global interactions, interactions based on mutual constructive engagement between all of us… we were not deceived, nor did we cheat or deceive anyone.”
“I declare before you that the Islamic Republic of Iran will not be the first country to violate the agreement, but it will respond decisively and resolutely to its violation by any party,” he said. “It will be a great pity if this agreement were to be destroyed by rogue newcomers to the world of politics. The world will have lost a great opportunity. But such unfortunate behavior will never impede Iran’s course of progress and advancement.”
“By violating its international commitments, the new U.S. administration only destroys its own credibility and undermines international confidence in negotiating with it or accepting its word or promise.”
The U.S. has to decided whether to recertify Iran’s deal compliance by Oct. 15. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told Fox News on Tuesday that Trump’s assessment of the nuclear agreement “is that it’s a not stiff enough agreement, it doesn’t slow their program enough and holding them accountable is difficult under the agreement.”
“But most importantly, the agreement comes to an end. And so we can almost start the count down clock as to when they will resume their nuclear weapons capability,” Tillerson said. “The president really wants to redo that deal. He said re-negotiate it. We do need the support, I think, of our allies, the European allies and others, to make the case, as well, to Iran that this deal really has to be revisited.”
Rouhani said at his news conference that Iran would only accept the nuclear deal in its current form. “If anyone exits the agreement and breaks their commitment, it means our hand is completely open to take any action that we see as beneficial to our country,” he said.
At the end of a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas today, Trump was asked about his decision. “I have decided,” the president said. “…I’ll let you know. I’ll let you know.”