Trump: Iran Is ‘Dying To Make A Deal’ And Will Be ‘The First Call I Get’
United States President Donald Trump has once again told American voters “probably the first call I'll get after we win the election will be from Iran dying to make a deal because they’re down 28 percent GDP.”
In a rally in Sanford, Florida, Monday evening, Trump reminded supporters that his administration had killed the commander of Iran’s extraterritorial Qods Force, Qasem Soleimani, whom he said was responsible for the deaths of American troops and “many, many people all over the world.”
Trump claimed that in foreign policy he had been “tough” with China, Cuba and Iran and accused Democrats of weakness in defending American interests. He highlighted his decision to abandon the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2018. "I withdrew from the last administration's disastrous Iran nuclear deal, which was a catastrophe,” he told a packed crowd.
Trump claimed Iran had “blackmailed” former president Barack Obama to secure his agreement to the JCPOA. “President Obama, give us $150 billion or we'll give you nothing, give us $1.8 billion in green, in cash,” Trump said, mocking Iranian negotiators. “He gave them $1.8 billion in cash.”
The $1.8 billion was a settlement the Obama administration reached with Iran in January 2016 over a deal for never-delivered US arms, going back to before the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Media widely reported that $400 million was delivered in cash to Tehran – which was confirmed in January 2020 by the spokesman of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Hassan Abbasi who added that in exchange for the payment “an arrested spy” had been freed, presumably a reference to Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, who had been convicted on espionage charges in 2015.
Trump’s exit from the JCPOA and the subsequent draconian third-party sanctions imposed on Iran have produced a serious economic downturn and undermined government finances. In his Florida rally, Trump insisted that with the drop in Iran’s GDP in the past three years, which he put at 28 percent, Iran would call him for talks. “Nobody’s ever heard of a thing like that,” he said. “That’ll be the first call I get. They cannot have a nuclear weapon.”
Iranian officials have insisted they will not negotiate with the US unless if it returns to the nuclear agreement. Many analysts say that the Islamic Republic’s leadership is awaiting the US presidential elections with the hope that Democratic Party candidate Joe Biden will win.
Biden has criticized Trump’s exit from the JCPOA, suggesting a Biden administration would lift sanctions as agreed under the JCPOA in return for Tehran again accepting the limits set by the deal on its nuclear program. Oil market analysts at Global Platts and Eurasia Group predicted Iran would export 700,000-750,000 barrels a day from 2021 or 2022, perhaps after an interim agreement with Biden.