Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani delivered a speech on Wednesday where he called for the incoming Biden administration to reverse President Trump’s policies. Rouhani said Iran and the US could both take steps to return to the relationship the two countries had before Trump came into office.
“Iran and the US can both decide and announce that they will return to conditions on January 20, 2017,” he said. “This can be a great solution to a large number of issues and completely change the path and conditions.”
Rouhani said he hopes the next administration will “explicitly condemn Trump’s policies on Iran,” and called the policies “anti-human rights and terroristic.”
Since the Trump administration unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), US sanctions have done enormous damage to Iran’s economy. Rouhani said he saw Trump’s election loss as the defeat of an enemy in an “economic war.”
Joe Biden has said he plans to work with Iran to return to the JCPOA, although he will face enormous pressure from Iran hawks in the US, Israel, and some Gulf states. Both Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif have recently said that Iran is ready to abide by the limitations set by the JCPOA in exchange for sanctions relief.
In hopes of sabotaging Biden’s plans to rejoin JCPOA, the Trump administration is planning to slap new sanctions on Iran every day until January 20th. Elliot Abrams, the US envoy for Iran, said on Wednesday that Biden would be foolish to lift sanctions on Iran.