Iran's President Hassan Rouhani once again has slammed the Trump administration on November 19, Wednesday and accused the country of acting as a 'terrorist' following a rocket attack on Baghdad Embassy that killed a child. Tehran continues to trumpet the anti-American criticism as it waits to see what President-elect Joe Biden will do once he takes office in January.
On Tuesday, rockets struck Iraq’s capital with four landings inside the heavily fortified Green Zone, killing a child and wounding at least five people. The renewed attacks indicate an end to an informal truce announced by Iran-backed militias in October.
Rouhani, who signed the 2015 nuclear deal which is set to expire in June 2021, repeated the common Iranian attack on the Trump administration and claimed that 'the US government is a terrorist', according to Iran's state-run Fars News Agency.
According to experts, Biden may ease Trump's 'maximum pressure' campaign against Iran when he takes office and possibly offer limited sanctions relief as a goodwill gesture in the hope of restoring the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), from which Trump withdrew in 2018.
Meanwhile, Rouhani has faced criticism from conservative hardliners in Iran for agreeing to the beleaguered JCPOA, which ultimately brought a smaller than expected economic benefit to Iran. The upcoming elections in Iran, due in June 2021, are expected to bring a hardliner to power, possibly even a candidate from the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Defending his administration's record, Rouhani said that his regime has ended the arms embargo and continued to interact with the world. "I have always said that the next US administration will have to lift sanctions because the maximum US pressure on Iran failed," he was quoted as saying by the state-run news agency.
Meanwhile, the outgoing Trump administration is trying to push more sanctions on Iran so that its economy collapses before the end of the president's term. However, continued militia attacks are feared to increase tensions ahead of Trump's exit.
US and Iran in January this year came close to open conflict after the American assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad, the chief of Iran's covert Quds Force and widely considered one of the most powerful figures in the regime.