Iran’s Leaders React To US Chaos And Call Trump ‘Enemy Number One’
Like others around the world, Iran’s leaders have reacted to supporters of United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday storming Capitol Hill in Washington DC and bursting into Congress as President-elect Joe Biden was being confirmed as the winner of November’s election.
“What we saw in America last night and this morning showed how loose, weakly-rooted and problematic democracy in the United States is,” President Hassan Rouhani said on Thursday morning [January 7]. “We saw what a populist figure has done to America during the past four years by disgracing his country and undermining its prestige. The same man has dealt hard blows to our region, Palestine, Syria and Yemen.”
Rouhani looked forward to the demise of “illiterate individuals in the administration and of those who merely seek their personal and family interests.” He expressed hope that the experience would be “a lesson for the whole world and for the next rulers at the White House…[who] should make up for this and return the great nation of the United States to its proper status in the international community and restore the rule of law and reason.”
This is the sort of reaction many pundits feared they would hear from non-democratic governments who do not tolerate opposition and are usually eager to highlight a political crisis in democratic countries.
Alireza Moezzi, Rouhani’s deputy of communications, tweeted that Trump had lost all credibility with events in Washington: “The end of Trump was marked not simply by his downfall from political power. The images of what happened at the Congress last night shocked the world. This reminded everyone of Rouhani's statement last week when he talked about the end of Trump’s prestige and political life."
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif blasted Trump in a twitter post on Thursday morning: “A rogue president who sought vengeance against his OWN people has been doing much worse to our people—and others—in the past 4 years. What’s disturbing is that the same man has the UNCHECKED authority to start a nuclear war; a security concern for the entire int’l community.”
Mahmoud Ahmadi Bighash, a hardline member of parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee had earlier criticized Zarif for not reacting to events in Washington. Bighash referred to a prediction from the Islamic Republic’s first leader Ruhollah Khomeini, who died in 1989, that America was heading towards its downfall.
Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme Council of National Security, suggested in a tweet that events had confirmed the wisdom of not trying to deal with Trump: “In the 2016 election, Trump’s mental health was questioned. Following the Capitol Hill events, some senators demanded his removal under the 25th Amendment of constitution with [the] same reason. What is the response to the ones in Iran who were about to negotiate with this madman?”
Abdolnaser Hemmati, Governor of Iran’s Central Bank, which has faced US sanctions under Trump’s ‘maximum pressure,’ took to Instagram to proclaim that “God’s promise” had been realized with Trump’s failure to overturn the US election result: “Enemy number one of the Iranian people reached the end of his miserable road with pure dishonor.”
Iranian political figures who criticize the United States and its leaders failed to mention that the Iranian government killed tens of demonstrators in the aftermath of the disputed presidential election in Iran in 2009.
Iran still keeps two of the contestants in that election under house arrest after nearly a decade while several others have been languishing in jail for protesting against the results of that election.