An Iranian TV host on Thursday derided President Barack Obama’s vow to come down like “a ton of bricks” on firms that violate sanctions against Iran, suggesting that the US president take just one brick and knock it against his own head.
Mocking Obama on a morning show on Tehran’s Channel 5, the host asked a colleague in the studio, “Is America like a bogeyman? We don’t want to portray it like that, but Mr. Obama himself is insisting on imposing such an image. We keep saying that we are okay with America and its people, and so on. We keep trying to mend the relations, and then along comes Obama and says something that ruins it all.”
In the brief clip, the host then offered “my foreign policy advice to the Americans when dealing with Iran: First of all, Mr. Obama, don’t waste a ton of bricks. I sense a personal problem here… Instead of wasting a ton of bricks, take just one brick, and knock it against your head. Perhaps parts of his brain will swap places, and his perspective will change.”
The TV host’s comments, translated and posted by media monitor group MEMRI, came in response to remarks by Obama on Tuesday night at a joint news conference with visiting French President Francois Hollande.
Speaking on companies doing business with Iran in violation of sanctions still in place, Obama said, “We will come down on them like a ton of bricks” if they don’t hold up their end.
The Obama administration has objected to the interest French businesses have shown in Iran since some sanctions were eased under an interim deal between world powers and Iran that took effect last month. Talks on a permanent agreement aimed at halting Iran’s rogue nuclear program are set to start in Vienna next week.
More than 100 French executives visited Tehran last week, a trip Secretary of State John Kerry told his counterparts in Paris was “not helpful.”
Hollande said he told the French businessmen that sanctions remain in effect and no commercial agreements can be signed without a long-term, comprehensive nuclear deal. But he said he’s not president of the French employer’s union and companies make their own travel decisions.