Trump’s Confrontational Approach Not in US Interest

Hassan Rouhani speaks during a ceremony  in Tehran on Saturday to mark the start of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. Hassan Rouhani speaks during a ceremony  in Tehran on Saturday to mark the start of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.

President Donald Trump will face the same fate as former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein if he continues his animosity against Iran, President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday pledging that the country will continue to improve its military capabilities.

"Trump's withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and his economic, political and psychological campaign    is reminiscent of the time when the former Iraqi leader invaded Iran days after he tore up the 1975 Algiers Accord between the two countries," the president said in a speech in Tehran, his official website reported.

He made the comments during a parade ceremony held to mark the start of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, in reference to the US exit from the nuclear accord signed between Tehran and world powers and an agreement between Iran and Iraq aimed at settling their border dispute, which Saddam tore up on Iraq state TV in September 1980.  

As part of the commemorations, about 600 vessels took part in a Persian Gulf naval drill, a day after military forces held aerial exercises in the waterway.

Rouhani said the ultimate objective of Saddam's invasion was to overthrow the Islamic establishment, adding, "The primary goal of Trump's pullout from the JCPOA is to undermine the foundations of the Islamic Revolution and establishment."   

The Iran nuclear accord, which Washington abandoned  in May, is formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.  

*** Ultimate Winner

"What happened to Saddam will happen to the United States and Trump," Rouhani said, adding that the nation will emerge victorious from the US’ anti-Iran campaign because is isolated in its hostility toward Tehran.      

"The enemy is weaker than ever. Both the East and the West supported Saddam at the time (during the war), but they are now standing by us and have been denouncing the US move," the president said, referring to the global condemnation of Trump's controversial   decision to unilaterally pull the plug on the historic nuclear agreement.  

The president said Iran will not abandon its defensive weapons, including its missiles, despite repeated calls by western powers.

"The fact that they are angry about our missiles means that these are our most effective weapons," he said, promising that the country will keep strengthening its military prowess.  

*** Illusion

In an article published on the Washington Post's website on Friday, Rouhani said current US foreign policy toward Iran is out of step with ground realities and does not serve America's national interests.

"The US administration is under the illusion that resorting to sanctions will lead to concessions from Iran. Iranians, though, are known to close ranks and put up strong resistance in the face of external pressure," he said, adding that the US government will have to change course.

Tehran is committed to dialogue but Trump's offer of direct talks is not "honest" or "genuine", the president said.

"How can we trust the US government now that it has officially reneged on its international commitments?"

However, the president did not rule out normalcy  between the two estranged countries, saying, "Peace is our arsenal and we are committed to reciprocate each and every genuine and honest gesture of peace."

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