President Hassan Rouhani said Mr Trump’s move is proof the US is lying about wanting to negotiate with Tehran, before launching a blistering attack on the American on live TV. He said President Trump’s new sanctions are “outrageous and idiotic” and will fail because President Trump’s main target – Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme leader – has no overseas assets. He then said the actions of the White House were “mentally retarded”.
President Trump imposed the sanctions yesterday after a US spy drone was shot to of the air in international airspace.
Washington said the attack on the drone was “unprovoked”.
President Rouhani pointed to sanctions Mr Trump put on Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as evidence that Washington is not looking to negotiate.
He said: “You sanction the foreign minister simultaneously with a request for talks?”
With tensions running high between the two countries, Trump signed an executive order imposing the sanctions, which US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said would lock billions of dollars more in Iranian assets.
Trump said Khamenei was ultimately responsible for what he called “the hostile conduct of the regime” in the Middle East.
He added the 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 support.”
Tehran’s foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said America’s decision to impose sanctions on the country’s supreme leader and other top officials permanently closed the path to diplomacy between them and Washington
Mr Mousavi said: “Imposing useless sanctions on Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the commander of Iran’s diplomacy, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is the permanent closure of the path of diplomacy.
“Trump’s desperate administration is destroying the established international mechanisms for maintaining world peace and security.”
The Trump administration wants to force Tehran to open talks on its nuclear and missile programs and its activities in the region.
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