Oct 18, 2021

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Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani addressed the 75th United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday via a televised pre-recorded speech, boasting that whoever is elected, the next leader of the US will “have no choice but to surrender” to Iran.

Iran is suffering economically after President Trump reinstated sanctions effectively barring Iran from selling its oil globally. Trump has rejected the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known commonly as the Iran nuclear deal.  Former Vice President Joe Biden has already stated his intention to reinstate the JCPOA that was negotiated during his term in the White House and will presumably remove any sanctions.

Rouhani referred to the JCPOA as one of the “biggest accomplishments” in the history of diplomacy. His claim comes in the wake of Bahrain and the UAE signing the Abrhama Accords establishing normalization with Israel, and a similar agreement between Serbia and Kosovo.  Rouhani added that his country had remained faithful to the agreement though this claim has been debunked countless times.

Rouhani vowed that whoever wins the presidential election in November will have to concede defeat to Iran.

“We are not a bargaining chip in US elections and domestic policy,” Rouhani said. “Any US administration after the upcoming elections will have no choice but to surrender to the resilience of the Iranian nation.”

“America is approaching a certain defeat in its sanctions move,” Ropuhani said. “It faced defeat and negative response from the international community. We will never yield to U.S. pressure and Iran will give a crushing response to America’s bullying,” Rouhani said.

“The United States can impose neither negotiations nor war on us,” Rouhani said. “Life is hard under sanctions. However, harder is life without independence.”

Rouhani identified the Iranian conflict with the US as being similar to the Black Lives Matter movement that flared up after the killing of George Floyd, saying the US-based protests are “reminiscent of our own experience.” 

“We instantly recognize the feet kneeling on the neck as the feet of arrogance on the neck of independent nations,” Rouhani said. Rouhani accused the US of creating the terrorist organization, the Islamic State (ISIS), which was effectively wiped out under President Trump.

In his speech, Rouhani also claimed his government stood “with the people and government of Lebanon against Zionist occupiers, domestic warmongers and foreign plotters.”

It should be noted that last month, an explosion in the port of Beirut killed at least 200 and wounded at least 6,500 others while causing an estimated $10-15 billion in damage and leaving an estimated 300,000 people homeless. The explosion was caused by 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate purchased by Hezbollah from Iran.

On Sunday, the US declared that due to Iran’s noncompliance with the JCPOA signed in 2015, it reinstated all UN sanctions including an arms embargo. The JCPOA banned on any arms embargo targeting Iran expired on Sunday. 

In what may be a coincidence, the US Fifth Fleet announced last Friday that a carrier strike group led by USS Nimitz passed through the Strait of Hormuz with the guided-missile cruisers USS Princeton and USS Philippine Sea and guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett. The strait is a flashpoint and has been the focus of conflict between the US and Iran in the past. 

Tensions also rose after a story run by Politico claimed Iran is planning to assassinate the U.S. ambassador to South Africa.