Iranian President Hassan Rouhani slammed U.S. sanctions against Iran on Tuesday, saying President Trump was “afflicted by mental retardation.”
The sharp words came during a press conference where Rouhani added that the latest sanctions imposed by the United States mark a “permanent closure” for diplomacy between the two countries, the Associated Press reported.
“The White House is afflicted by mental retardation and does not know what to do,” Rouhani said.
He also added that the latest round of sanctions was “outrageous and idiotic.”
However, Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton said that diplomacy is far from over and there is still an “open door” for diplomatic discussions.
“All that Iran needs to do is walk through that open door,” Bolton said while visiting Israel.
Trump signed an executive order Monday imposing a new round of sanctions against Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other high-ranking officials.
The sanctions will deny Khamenei access to financial instruments, The Hill reported.
“The supreme leader of Iran is one who ultimately is responsible for the hostile conduct of the regime,” Trump said.
The president added that while Khamenei may be “respected” in Iran, “his office oversees the regime’s most brutal instruments.”
The sanctions come a week after the U.S. claims that Iran shot down an unmanned drone that was flying in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz.
Iran, however, continued to deny that it was in international waters and said the drone was flying over Iranian airspace.
Trump made it clear on Monday that the administration does not want a “conflict” with Iran, but he was resolute in his stance that Iran cannot have any nuclear weapons.
“We do not seek conflict with Iran or any other country,” the president said. “I look forward to discussing whatever I have to discuss with anybody that wants to speak. In the meantime, who knows what’s going to happen. I can only tell you we cannot ever let Iran have a nuclear weapon.”
Additionally, Bolton echoed these statements while in Jerusalem and said that while American diplomatic representatives are “seeking a path to peace,” all “options remain on the table” if Iran continues to move forward with increasing its stockpile of low-enriched uranium.
“It would not be in their interest to do it,” Bolton said.
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