In a televised address on Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the White House was “afflicted by mental retardation” after the Trump administration cranked up the sanctions on the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and several military commanders. Associated Press reports the Rouhani called Trump’s latest sanctions “outrageous and idiotic.”
“You sanction the foreign minister simultaneously with a request for talks,” Rouhani said Tuesday, adding: “The White House is afflicted by mental retardation and does not know what to do.”
Iran Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi also threatened Tuesday that President Donald Trump’s “fruitless sanctions on Iran’s leadership and the chief of Iranian diplomacy” would spell “the permanent closure of the road of diplomacy” between Tehran and Washington.
Trump said Monday the U.S. sanctions “will deny the Supreme Leader and the Supreme Leader’s office and those closely affiliated with him and the office access to key financial resources,” and added that the measures “represent a strong and proportionate response to Iran’s increasingly provocative actions.”
The sanctions follow an attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman and a U.S. drone shot down by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Iran denies and responsibility for the tanker bombings.
President Trump pulled back from retaliating against Iran for the drone strike and the tanker bombings instead choosing to use sanctions. He said he “look[s] forward to the day when sanctions can be finally lifted and Iran can become a peaceful, prosperous and productive nation.”
More sanctions against Iran are coming. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said later this week the administration would sanction Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
(Photo by – / ISNA / AFP) (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)