Iran’s foreign minister on Wednesday hailed the White House departure of former US president Donald Trump, saying that he and his administration were “relegated to the dustbin of history.”
“Trump, [US Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo & Co. are relegated to the dustbin of history in disgrace,” Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a tweet after US President Joe Biden was sworn in.
He added that the memories of their “crimes against humanity,” including the killing of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani last year and sanctions against Iran, “will shine on.”
“Perhaps new folks in DC have learned.”
Zarif also retweeted Soleimani’s daughter Zeinab, who said that Trump had ordered the killing of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps general “with the perverse hope that you will be seen as some sort of hero.”
“But instead you are defeated, isolated & broken – viewed not as a hero, but one who lives in fear of foes. The irony,” Soleimani wrote.
A “tyrant’s era came to an end and today is the final day of his ominous reign,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said earlier in televised remarks to his cabinet.
He labeled Trump “someone for whom all of his four years bore no fruit other than injustice and corruption and causing problems for his own people and the world.”
During his presidency, Trump led a campaign of “maximum pressure” against Iran, pulling Washington out of a landmark nuclear deal with Tehran in 2018 and reimposing punishing sanctions.
The sanctions targeted Iran’s vital oil sales and international banking ties, plunging its economy into a deep recession.
Biden, who became the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, has signaled a willingness to return to dialogue with the Islamic republic.
The nuclear deal, agreed between major powers and Iran in 2015 when Biden was vice president under Barack Obama, set curbs on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for relief from international sanctions.
Since 2019, Tehran has suspended its compliance with most of the limits set by the agreement.
Rouhani said Trump’s political career had “died… but the JCPOA is alive,” referring to the nuclear agreement’s official name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
“He did all he could to destroy the JCPOA but could not. We expect [the Biden administration] to return to law and to commitments, and try in the next four years, if they can, to remove the stains of the past four years,” he added.
Rouhani said “the ball is in America’s court” and emphasized that when Washington starts to carry out its commitments “we too will act on our commitments.”
“If they return to the law, our response will be positive as well.”
Biden’s pick for secretary of state, Anthony Blinken, said at a Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday that Trump’s policies had made Iran “more dangerous.”
Blinken confirmed Biden’s desire for Washington to return to the nuclear agreement, but said that was conditional on Tehran’s return to strict compliance with its commitments.
Tehran has repeatedly called on Washington to lift sanctions first and respect its own obligations under the agreement. It has said it will then return to full compliance.
Iran — which is sworn to Israel’s destruction and financially backs terror groups in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip — has begun enriching uranium to 20 percent purity, just a short technical step away from weapons-grade 90% enrichment.
The foreign ministers of the European signatories to the deal — Germany, France and Britain — warned Saturday that the Iranian activity “has no credible civil justification” and have called on Tehran to adhere to the accord.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned against the US rejoining the agreement, speaking out in November and December against the move and urging Biden to continue Trump’s maximum pressure campaign of sanctions against Iran.