Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani lashed out at President Donald Trump on Wednesday as a “tradesman” who lacks the experience to grasp complex international agreements.
Rouhani was responding to Trump’s earlier remarks in Washington where he blasted the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran as “insane” and “ridiculous,” claiming it “should have never been made.”
Trump has spent two days in talks with French President Emmanuel Macron, who traveled to Washington in a bid to stop Trump from pulling out of the deal.
Rouhani, however, dismissed Trump’s ability to alter the agreement.
“You don’t have any background in politics. You don’t have any background in law. You don’t have any background in international treaties,” Rouhani blustered in a speech on state TV. “How can a tradesman, a merchant, a building constructor, a tower constructor, make judgments about international affairs?”
The U.S. is one of seven signatories to the deal, with China, Russia, France, Britain, and Germany all seeking to keep the agreement in place.
The accord saw Iran agree to curb its nuclear program in return for the lifting of economic sanctions.
Despite Trump’s ranting, it appeared Tuesday he could be open to a “new deal” proposed by Macron.
“We could at least have an agreement among ourselves fairly quickly,” Trump said. “I think we are fairly close to understanding each other.”
Macron’s proposals include blocking Iranian nuclear activity until 2025, limiting its ballistic missile program and curbing Tehran’s role in neighboring countries such Yemen, Lebanon, and Syria.
“The discussions we have had together make it possible to pave the way for a new agreement,” Macron said. “I constantly said that we needed to find a framework so that together, with the powers of the region and the Iranian leaders, [we can] find a deal.”
Trump has warned the other signatories to “fix” the “terrible flaws” in the deal before May 12, or he will enforce new sanctions on Iran, a likely death knell for the agreement.
Cover image: President of Iran Hassan Rouhani during a joint news conference with President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan following the meeting in Ankara. (Michael Klimentyev / Sputnik via AP)