Rouhani: U.S. clashes exposed weakness of Western democracy

January 8, 2021 - 15:55

TEHRAN — President Hassan Rouhani has said Western democracy is “weak” and “broken”, pointing as an example to the unrest in Washington during certification of the November 3 presidential election results by Congress.

“We saw that unfortunately populism is deeply rooted in such countries, despite their scientific and industrial progress,” Rouhani said on Thursday in an address to the inauguration ceremony of three major national projects.

Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday while Congress was certifying the Electoral College’s votes for Joe Biden’s victory in the November election. Four people lost their lives during the unrest.

It took several hours for the Capitol to be secured. Vice President Mike Pence was moved to a safe location. This was the first time the U.S. Capitol was breached since the British attacked and burned the building in 1814.

“We have seen what damage a populist person has inflicted upon his own country in the last four years, bringing disgrace upon his nation while also inflicting great damage on our region, on Palestine, Syria and Yemen,” President Rouhani said in a reference to Trump.

The president further said when an “unfit person” gains power in a country, he would cause numerous problems for his country and the entire world.

“I hope this would be a lesson for the whole world and also for the next rulers of the White House,” Rouhani remarked.

Zarif slams Trump as ‘rogue president who sought vengeance against his own people’

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also voiced similar sentiments on Thursday, saying Trump’s unchecked authority to start a nuclear war was a security concern for the entire world.

“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,” Zarif wrote in a tweet.

He added, “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.”

Meanwhile, President Rouhani advised the incoming Biden administration to compensate for Trump’s mistakes and to return to the rule of law, pointing to Trump’s lack of respect for international organizations and agreements such as the Iran nuclear deal.

Iran and six world powers, including the U.S., Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany, together with the European Union reached the nuclear deal, officially called the JCPOA, in 2015, under which Iran agreed to put certain restrictions on its nuclear program in exchange for the termination of sanctions.

However, despite Iran’s strict compliance with the deal, U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the deal, which was signed under his predecessor Barack Obama, and imposed harsh economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic to force it to negotiate a new deal.

However, following Biden’s victory, hopes have been raised over the survival of the nuclear deal. The U.S. president-elect has promised to return the United States into the JCPOA if Iran returns to full compliance with the deal.

On Wednesday, President Rouhani said if the United States repents, abandons its “glass breaking” behavior and returns to its nuclear agreement commitments, Iran will also return to compliance with the deal.

“The administration that will come to power in the U.S. in the near future, that is Mr. Biden’s administration, which will come to power in the next two weeks, if it says the U.S. has stopped breaking glass, repents and wants to follow the law and fulfills its obligations, and if it asks us, we will say if you fulfill your obligations we will fulfill all our obligations as well,” he said at a cabinet session.

Rouhani also maintained that no one in the world should think that the Iranian nation would surrender in the face of sanctions.

“We will continue our path powerfully,” he said. “Of course, any time that the other side surrenders to the rule of law, we will welcome it.”