Speaking at the 75th UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the US could impose “neither negotiations nor war” on the Islamic Republic ahead of the US presidential election in November.
“Iran is not a bargaining chip in US elections and domestic policy,” Rouhani said. “Any US administration after the upcoming elections will have no choice but to surrender to the resilience of the Iranian nation.”
The Trump administration continues to ramp up its “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran. The stated goal of this campaign is to bring Tehran to the table to negotiate a more comprehensive nuclear deal, but Iranian officials have made it clear that the strategy will never work.
On Monday, the US attempted to add more pressure on Iran when it announced new sanctions that are intended to replace a UN arms embargo that expires in October. The US claims it has the authority to put these new measures into place under “snapback” sanctions agreed to in the 2015 nuclear deal. As other signatories point out, the US pulled out of the agreement in 2018 and has no authority to impose UN sanctions unilaterally.
Some fear that Iran hawks in the US and other countries in the Middle East are trying to provoke a confrontation with Tehran before the election. According to multiple media reports, Israel was behind a July explosion at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility.
The blast came along with a string of mysterious fires and explosions across Iran. Around that time, sources told Business Insider that Israel was hoping to provoke Iran into a confrontation before President Trump could be voted out of office.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden recently laid out his Iran policy in an Op-Ed for CNN. While the former vice president says the US must be “tough” on Iran, he says a Biden administration will work to restore the 2015 nuclear deal. Tehran will likely wait to see who wins in November before responding to Trump’s “maximum pressure.”