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Iran to US: Diplomacy Is Done After 'Stupid,' 'Idiotic' Sanctions

President Rouhani calls WH 'mentally retarded' as tensions escalate
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2019 6:33 AM CDT
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In this photo, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attends a meeting in Tehran, Iran, on Tuesday.   (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)

(Newser) – Amid a series of escalations with the United States, Iran says it's throwing in the towel on finding a diplomatic way toward peace after the White House's latest round of sanctions, with name-calling thrown in for good measure. "Imposing useless sanctions ... is the permanent closure of the path of diplomacy," a foreign ministry rep said, per Reuters, adding the Trump administration is "desperate" and destroying any chance for "world peace and security." In a TV address, President Hassan Rouhani said the sanctions were "outrageous and idiotic," calling the White House "mentally retarded." "Tehran's strategic patience does not mean we have fear," he said, per the Washington Post, noting sanctions against Iran's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, in particular were pointless, as Khamenei allegedly has no assets overseas.

Meanwhile, per the Wall Street Journal, national security adviser John Bolton was in Jerusalem for "an unusual gathering" with Russian and Israeli officials to talk about Iran, and he had a suggestion for the latter before his meeting. "[Trump] has held the door open to real negotiations that completely and verifiably end Iran's nuclear weapons program, its pursuit of ballistic missile delivery systems and support for international terrorism, and its other malign behavior worldwide," he said. "All that Iran needs to do is walk through that open door." (Between a shot-down US drone, an attack on two oil tankers, the US coming within minutes of a strike, the new sanctions, and a US cyberattack, relations are looking dire.)

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