Iran's President Says He Is Not Scared of 'Mentally Retarded' Trump Administration

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has branded President Donald Trump "mentally retarded" in response to new U.S. sanctions imposed on the upper echelons of the theocratic regime in Tehran.

Trump announced the new sanctions on Monday following weeks of tension between the two nations over the beleaguered Iran nuclear deal. But on Tuesday, Rouhani delivered a blistering response to the fresh economic measures, which targeted the country's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

In a speech shown live on state television, Rouhani suggested that the sanctions against Khamenei would be ineffective as he holds no assets abroad, Reuters reported. Instead, Rouhani argued that the new measures showed the desperation of the Trump administration.

"The White House actions mean it is mentally retarded," he said. "Tehran's strategic patience does not mean we have fear." The president added that the "outrageous and idiotic" U.S. move meant the "certain failure" of American efforts, according to the Associated Press.

Trump said Monday that the new sanctions would "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."

While announcing the new sanctions, Trump appeared to mistakenly refer to Khamenei as his predecessor Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who led the Iranian Revolution and died in 1989. The White House transcript of the event correctly refers to "Ayatollah Khamenei," USA Today noted.

The newest measures represent the latest White House effort to increase pressure on Iran's struggling economy and undermine the Islamic republic's ruling elite. Trump withdrew the U.S. from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—also known as the Iran nuclear deal—last May, and now wants to negotiate a new agreement with harsher restrictions on Iranian nuclear development, weapons research and regional influence.

The U.S. withdrawal from the deal meant Washington could reimpose crippling economic sanctions on Iran. In May, the Trump administration began withdrawing waivers issued to nations allowing them to continue trading with Iran, hoping to reduce the country's vital oil exports to zero.

Military posturing, sabotage of commercial shipping and the shooting down of a U.S. drone soon followed, further heightening tensions. On Monday, Trump argued that Khamenei was ultimately responsible for "the hostile conduct of the regime" in the region.

Following the president's announcement, a spokesperson for the Iranian Foreign Ministry said the new sanctions represented "the permanent closure of the path of diplomacy." Abbas Mousavi added, "Trump's desperate administration is destroying the established international mechanisms for maintaining world peace and security."

Donald Trump, retarded, Iran, Hassan Rouhani, Sanctions
President Donald Trump speaks after signing an executive order imposing new sanctions on Iran in the Oval Office at the White House on June 24, 2019 in Washington, D.C. Mark Wilson/Getty