Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that while Tehran was not overjoyed about the new US administration led by Democratic President-elect Joe Biden, it welcomes the departure of Donald Trump, from the post.
"We are not excited about Biden coming, but happy with the departure of terrorist Trump," Rouhani was cited as saying during a cabinet meeting.
The Iranian president added:
"Today, America is on its own, and all of the countries of the world condemn America's actions and demand that [the US] return to the nuclear agreement."
Addressing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or the Iran Nuclear Deal, which the US unilaterally scrapped in 2018, alleging Tehran had violated its provisions, Rouhani noted that his country had proven its unwavering commitment to the accord.
Addressing a cabinet meeting, Rouhani said the Trump administration has placed an obstacle in the path of every single Iranian effort to import vaccines and medical equipment, Press TV reported.
“That is because they have created so many problems and are bothering us to the extent that the entire country has to work for weeks and sometimes months to move money from one place to another to buy medicine, a simple task that could have been taken care of via a phone call, a message, and SWIFT,” he said.
The Iranian President added: “These people that were at the helm in the White House, and are spending the final days of their miserable [political] lives, were so evil that they did not even show mercy towards the health of people, the elderly and the disabled, amid the coronavirus issue, and they acted in the most corrupt and most savage manner towards the people of the region and the great nation of Iran.”
On 14 December the United States Electoral College officially declared former Vice President Joe Biden, who received the highest number of votes in the 3 November election where he faced off against Republican Donald Trump, the winner of the national ballot.
Tehran and Washington have enjoyed a rocky relationship since the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Under Donald Trump’s presidency, the US pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May 2018.
Washington alleged that Tehran was violating the provisions of the deal, which saw the latter limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. Despite analysis from within the US government and the EU confirming compliance on the part of the Islamic Republic, the US began to reimpose crippling sanctions on the country.
Iran President Hassan Rouhani’s administration stated the country would not observe the nuclear deal’s restrictions on fuel enrichment, on the size of its enriched uranium stockpile and on its research and development activities.
Tensions further spiralled, as the Trump administration sent fighter jets to the Persian Gulf in May 2019 announcing that it would be beefing up its military presence in the Middle East amid an unspecified ‘threat’ against US interests in the region.
Since then, the Gulf region has faced a string of tanker attacks, ship seizures and drone shootdowns, with mutual recriminations on the part of the US and Iran.
Washington deployed a spy drone in the Strait of Hormuz in June 2019, subsequently shot down by Iran, and assassinated Qasem Soleimani, one of Iran's most respected generals in a drone strike in Baghdad in January 2020.
Iran retaliated by firing missiles at two US bases in Iraq, severely injuring more than 100 US troops.
The assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh on 27 November escalated tensions between Tehran and the US-Israeli alliance further, as senior Iranian officials immediately accused Tel Aviv of engineering the attack, as official Israel remained silent on the matter.
Tehran has emphatically dismissed all of Washington’s allegations, insisting that its nuclear programme is peaceful.
In the wake of Biden's victory in the 3 November 2020 presidential election, the issue of the nuclear deal with Iran has resurfaced.
General Soleimani’s Daughter Says There's No Different Between Biden & Trump, They Are Following Same Policy pic.twitter.com/5XoHhLtv8w— Fars News Agency (@EnglishFars) December 15, 2020
Biden, who oversaw the formation of the JCPOA as vice president to then-President Barack Obama, has stressed throughout his campaign that he wants to pursue a lifting of sanctions and potentially rejoin or “renegotiate” the JCPOA if Tehran returned to the agreement’s constraints.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has signalled a willingness to cooperate, but noted that renegotiating the JCPOA was not on the table.
“The United States must return to the commitments it has already made… [A]nd as we said before, if everyone returns to their full commitments, we will return to our full commitments ... I will not postpone it until the next hour,” said Rouhani.