Iran’s supreme leader lashed out Wednesday in response to the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal, delivering fiery remarks in Tehran in which he said: “Mr. Trump, you can’t do a damn thing.”
The comments carried on Iranian state media were the first from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei since President Trump announced the American pullout a day earlier by reimposing a wide slate of U.S. sanctions against Iran.
Mr. Khamenei, who holds more power in Iran than any elected leaders in the nation, threatened that Tehran may decide not to continue to abide by the Obama-era deal that saw sanctions lifted in exchange for limits to the Iranian nuclear program.
According to Iran’s Fars News agency, he said that if European countries, who also signed the 2015 deal don’t stand now with Iran, the country will move quickly abandon the terms of the deal.
Mr. Khamenei specifically criticized Mr. Trump.
“Last night you heard the ludicrous and shallow statements the U.S. President made,” the supreme leader told an audience in Tehran, according to Fars. “There were probably over 10 lies in [Mr. Trump’s] speech. He threatened both the Iranian government and Iranian nation, claiming he would do one thing or another.
“On behalf of the Iranian nation I will say: Mr. Trump, you can’t do a damn thing,” he said.
Mr. Khamenei added that Mr. Trump’s action wasn’t unexpected.
“The same behavior was shown by previous U.S. presidents,” he said. “Yet, the Iranian nation is persistent, while former U.S. presidents passed away and the Islamic Republic of Iran is still standing. This man’s corpse will also be worm food, one day, while the Islamic Republic of Iran is standing stronger than ever.”
His comments came a day after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani threatened that Iran will quickly restart uranium enrichment — the process needed to make nuclear bombs — if President Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal leads to a total collapse of the Obama-era accord.
Mr. Trump, meanwhile, warned Iran Wednesday not to restart its nuclear program, telling reporters that if the Islamic republic makes such a move, “there will be very severe consequences.”
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