Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday hailed the departure of “tyrant” US counterpart Donald Trump, who is due to leave office later in the day making way for President-elect Joe Biden.
A “tyrant’s era came to an end and today is the final day of his ominous reign,” Rouhani said in televised remarks to his cabinet.
“Someone for whom all of his four years bore no fruit other than injustice and corruption and causing problems for his own people and the world.”
During his presidency, Trump led a campaign of “maximum pressure” against Iran, pulling Washington out of a landmark nuclear deal with Tehran in 2018 and reimposing punishing sanctions.
The sanctions targeted Iran’s vital oil sales and international banking ties, plunging its economy into a deep recession.
Agreed between major powers and Iran in 2015 when Biden was vice president under Barack Obama, the nuclear deal imposed clear limits on Iran’s activities in exchange for relief from international sanctions.
Since 2019, Tehran has suspended its compliance with most of the limits set by the agreement in response to Washington’s abandonment of sanctions relief and the failure of other parties to the deal to make up for it.
Biden’s pick for secretary of state, Anthony Blinken, said at a Senate confirmation hearing that Trump’s policies had made Iran “more dangerous.”
Blinken confirmed Biden’s desire for Washington to return to the nuclear agreement but said that was conditional on Tehran’s return to strict compliance with its commitments.
Tehran has repeatedly called on Washington to lift sanctions first and respect its own obligations under the agreement.
It has said it will then immediately return to full compliance.