Iranian Official Says 'Errors, Mistakes' Have Increased Under 'Current Weird President' Donald Trump

Ali Larijani, the speaker of Iranian parliament, on Tuesday called out what he referred to as "errors, mistakes and paradoxical comments" from the "current weird president" of the U.S., Donald Trump.

Larijani levied the criticism during a speech to commemorate the 1988 downing of an Iranian passenger plane by the U.S. Navy. During the speech, the Iranian leader also accused American leaders of being "a bunch of gangsters that believe they can silence the others by howling in the global arena," according to Iran's Tasnim News Agency.

"Trump needs to know that as long as he speaks the language of coercion with a civilized nation, they will only grow closer and more unified. If the U.S. just gets this, many of their problems will be solved," Larijani added during his Tuesday remarks, Iran's Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

Iranian protest
On the eve of renewed sanctions by Washington, Iranian protesters burn an image of President Donald Trump during a demonstration outside the former U.S. embassy in the Iranian capital of Tehran on November 4, 2018 Majid Saeedi/Getty

The parliamentary speaker also insisted that his country did not intend to create nuclear weapons, despite accusations from Washington and concern from many in the international community.

"Iran has announced that it does not seek nuclear weapons," Larijani said. "Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has banned the use of nuclear weapons. I doubt that the U.S. will ever understand this, though," he added.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed on Monday that the Persian Gulf nation has now surpassed the 300 kilogram limit on low-enriched uranium set by the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal. The Islamic Republic had consistently remained in compliance with the historic nuclear agreement, but announced in May that it would begin stepping back from its commitments under the accord as it has felt the pressure of renewed U.S. sanctions.

In May 2018, Trump withdrew the U.S. from the 2015 nuclear deal, which was signed by his predecessor President Barack Obama, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Germany, France, China and Russia. The JCPOA had offered Iran sanctions relief and investment in exchange for curbing its nuclear capabilities. Despite the Iranians consistently remaining in compliance with the treaty, according to the United Nations nuclear watchdog the IAEA, Trump had long criticized the deal and moved to reimplement harsh financial sanctions targeting the Persian Gulf nation.

As a result, tensions – which have been high between Washington and Tehran for decades – have increased substantially. In recent months, the situation has escalated further as the Trump administration has sent additional military forces to the region, accusing Iran of carrying out and planning attacks on U.S. allies. The Iranian military last month shot down a U.S. drone that it alleged had entered its airspace. The U.S. claimed the unmanned aircraft had been flying over international waters.

Although Trump ordered an airstrike on Iranian targets in response, he called off the attack at with just minutes to spare. He claimed that he made this decision after he was informed that about 150 people would be killed.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday called out Iran for its increasing uranium enrichment.

"Iran's regime has taken new steps to advance its nuclear ambitions. Once again, the regime uses its nuclear program to extort the international community and threaten regional security," he wrote on Twitter. "The world's top sponsor of terrorism can never be allowed to enrich uranium at any level."

But some Democrats and many analysts have accused the Trump administration of pushing Iran into the current situation. They have pointed out that Iran was complying with the international nuclear treaty, arguing that the White House has increased tensions unnecessarily by withdrawing from the landmark deal.

Iranian Official Says 'Errors, Mistakes' Have Increased Under 'Current Weird President' Donald Trump | World
{{label}}
{{title}}
EDITOR'S PICK