Iran's Rouhani Declares End of 'Trumpism'

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Thursday declared the "end of the era of Trumpism" as Tehran continues to celebrate the defeat of the administration and the imminent end of its "maximum pressure" campaign, which has left Iran's economy on the edge of collapse.

Iranian officials have been lauding Trump's electoral defeat as vindication for Tehran's resistance against the Trump administration, which has sought to contain Iran and force it to the table to negotiate a new, stricter nuclear deal.

Tehran was holding out for a Trump defeat to former Vice President Joe Biden, who is projected to win the contest with 306 electoral college votes. Biden was part of the administration that championed dialogue with Iran and signed the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Actin nuclear deal, which lifted crippling international sanctions on Tehran in exchange for limits on its nuclear program.

While inaugurating a new petrochemical plant on Thursday, Rouhani told reporters: "In the past three years of economic war, Iran proved that it will not surrender and the enemies suffered a humiliating defeat," according to the Tasnim News Agency. Iran regularly frames American sanctions as economic warfare or economic terrorism.

Rouhani said Iran's economy is "large" and "resistive," adding: "Many came to destroy Iran but failed to do so."

For all Iran's stubbornness, American sanctions are biting. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said earlier this month that American measures have been "extraordinarily effective."

"Today, Iran's economy faces a currency crisis, mounting public debt, and rising inflation," Pompeo said, noting that American sanctions had cut vital and lucrative Iranian oil exports by some 75 percent, denying the regime more than $70 billion in oil.

"The Iranian rial has depreciated to one fifth of its former value against the dollar since the start of the campaign, while Iran's GDP has shrunk by around six percent for three consecutive years," Pompeo added.

Combined with the coronavirus pandemic, the sanctions have been painful. Iran is struggling with industrial unrest and has violently suppressed mass protests against the cost of living. Last year, for example, the State Department said more than 1,000 were killed by security forces putting down demonstrations.

Rouhani and others in the regime vow continued resistance, but have also demanded sanctions relief. The regime says the measures are crimes against humanity, particularly amid the disruption of the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden has said he wants to rejoin the JCPOA, which Trump left in 2018. There is speculation he may offer quick sanctions relief to Iran as a goodwill gesture to get negotiators back to the table.

Rouhani said Wednesday that Iran took pride in having outlasted Trump. "One of the major signs of the Iranian nation's victory and the definite and certain defeat of the enemy in this economic war is an end to the era of Trumpism," he added.

But Trump's term is not yet over. His administration appears resolved to making Tehran pay as high a price as possible before January 20. The White House is applying more sanctions on Iran and according to The New York Times, Trump requested military options to strike Iran's nuclear facilities.

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani delivers a speech during the inaugural session of the new parliament following February elections, in Tehran on May 27, 2020. -/AFP via Getty Images/Getty