Rouhani says Trump seeking Iran leadership ‘overthrow’

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani accused his US counterpart Donald Trump of trying to topple his government Tuesday as he poured cold water on the idea of resuming talks with Washington after it pulled out from the nuclear deal.

“It is ironic that the US government does not even conceal its plan for overthrowing the same government it invites to talks,” Rouhani said in a speech at the United Nations General Assembly.

However, Trump had said on Tuesday that he had no plans to meet with Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani at the United Nations “despite requests” to do so.

“Maybe someday in the future. I am sure he is an absolutely lovely man!” Trump tweeted just hours before both leaders were set to speak at the UN General Assembly, and four months after the US president pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal.

However, Rouhani did not share the same sentiments. In his speech, he denounced what he called Trump’s “preposterous” UN speech.

He also condemned “recklessness and disregard of some states for international values and institutions” referring to the US pullout from the deal which Trump deemed ineffective in stopping Iran from funding terrorist activity in the region.

The Iranian president also said that the recently implemented US sanctions amount to “economic terrorism”.

Washington has told countries they must halt all imports of Iranian oil from Nov. 4 or face US financial measures.

This may cut Iran’s hard currency earnings from oil exports, and the prospect has triggered a panicked flight of Iranians’ savings from the rial into dollars, weighing on an already ailing local currency, hit by economic woes and financial difficulties at local banks.

Tehran’s Grand Bazaar was hit by strikes late in June and protesters angered by the rial’s collapse clashed with the police and traders massed outside parliament to complain about a sharp fall in the value of the national currency.

“Our proposal is clear: commitment for commitment, violation for violation, threat for threat and step for step instead of talk for talk,” Rouhani said.

He also questioned how an agreement could take place with the Trump administration who “violated the policies of its predecessor.”

Trump had stated that Iran’s military budget rose by 40 percent since the nuclear deal was signed. He has said that the Obama negotiated deal was highly flawed and unsustainable.

- With AFP

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