Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, above, blasted the new US sanctions against Tehran, saying it showed the Trump administration’s despair and mental retardation.
The sanctions against the country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei are futile since he has no assets abroad, Rouhani said.
The new US sanctions came after Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps shot down a US spy drone that violated its air space last week.
Earlier, a spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry, Abbas Mousavi, said that by imposing sanctions on Khamenei and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Washington is permanently closing the path of diplomacy.
This is an open violation of international norms for maintaining world peace and security, Mousavi said.
Such violations do not surprise Iran, its foreign minister said.
Instead of helping Trump pursue peace through diplomacy, the ‘so-called ‘B-Team’ is goading him into an unnecessary war with Iran, Zarif said.
The ‘B-Team’ consists of Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, and UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed.
Russia will take steps to counter America’s new sanctions on Iran, its Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said without specifying the steps.
Instead of raising tensions in the Gulf with more “illegal” sanctions, the US should hold talks with Iran, Ryabkov said.
Susan Rice, a former US national security advisor, held a similar view in an article published by the New York Times on Sunday,
Rice wrote that to defuse tensions in the Gulf, Trump should first rein in Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, draw redlines for military action against Iran and never flout them.
A retired and nonpartisan ambassador should be sent to Iran to explain those redlines and discuss ways to avert war.
Trump should also offer temporary relief from re-imposed sanctions if Iran frees jailed Americans and agrees to join talks on the nuclear deal with US and others.