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Iran says Trump White House afflicted by ‘mental retardation’

Iran's cabinet members, President Hassan Rouhani and Ali Akbar Salehi, during a meeting. (Hamed Malekpour/Tasnim News Agency)
June 25, 2019

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani leveled new insults against President Trump and the U.S. as a result of new sanctions Trump imposed on Iran and its leaders on Monday.

Rouhani said the White House has been “afflicted by mental retardation and does not know what to do” by imposing sanctions, which he described as “outrageous and idiotic,” the Associated Press reported on Tuesday.

The remarks came as Rouhani expressed frustration over sanctions concurrent with requests for talks.

“The useless sanctioning of Islamic Revolution Supreme Leader [Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei], and the commander of Iranian diplomacy means closing the doors of diplomacy by the US desperate administration,” Abbas Mousavi, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, said on Twitter, according to the state-run IRNA news agency.

Mousavi also argued that the Trump Administration is “annihilating all the established international mechanisms for keeping peace and security in the world.”

On Monday, Trump signed the order imposing sanctions against Iran and its top leaders, saying that it enacts “hard-hitting sanctions on the supreme leader of Iran and the office of the supreme leader of Iran, and many others,” adding that those entities will be denied “access to key financial resources.”

Trump said the new sanctions are in response to “a series of aggressive behaviors by the Iranian regime in recent weeks, including the recent shooting down of U.S. drones … and many other things,” Trump said.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said additional sanctions will be imposed later this week on Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Trump vowed to continue pressure against Iran “until the regime abandons its dangerous activities and its aspirations, including the pursuit of nuclear weapons, increased enrichment of uranium, development of ballistic missiles, engagement and support for terrorism, fueling of foreign conflicts, and belligerent acts against the United States and its allies.”

Both Trump and National Security Adviser John Bolton have said the U.S. is open to holding peace talks with Iran, which they have urged Iran to do in light of recent aggression.

Trump expressed willingness to meet with Iran to potentially discuss a new deal, which he urged Iran to do quickly instead of continuing on their “destructive” path.

“We do not seek conflict with Iran or any other country,” Trump told reporters. “I can only tell you we cannot ever let Iran have a nuclear weapon.”

Bolton said, “As we speak, American diplomatic representatives are surging across the Middle East, seeking a path to peace. In response, Iran’s silence has been deafening.”

“There is simply no evidence that Iran has made the strategic decision to renounce nuclear weapons and open realistic discussions to demonstrate that decision,” Bolton added.