“The Americans might be able to use threats to advance their interests under some circumstances, but it is not logical that they want to decide for the whole world,” the president said.
“Who you are to decide for Iran and the world and tell Iran what to do and what not to do regarding its nuclear technology?” said Rouhani, according to a transcript of his address to a gathering of academics and doctors in Tehran on Monday.
The president was responding to remarks by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in which he threatened to impose “strongest sanctions in history” against Iran that would ultimately destroy the country’s economy, unless it capitulated to a series of 12 “basic requirements”.
The list not only urged Tehran to permanently shut down any nuclear-related programs, but also to give up its regional policy.
Pompeo called on Iran to halt missile development, “release all US citizens,” withdraw from Syria, and cease support for groups which the US considers to be “terrorist,” namely Hezbollah, according to RT.
Rouhani said the remarks reminds one of the language used by the government led by George W. Bush, who was tough on Iran and called the county a member of “axis of evil”.
“The Americans experienced the [language] used by Bush and came to the conclusion that it was wrong and took steps to make up [for the mistake]. But now some people are repeating the same [mistake],” Rouhani said.
“The Iranian people have defied such [threats] and will continue to defy them and follow their path,” he said.
The incumbent US government has returned to gunboat diplomacy towards Iran, reviving the nearly forgotten US mantra that all options, including military ones, are on the table when it comes to Iran.
US President Donald Trump on March 8 pulled the country out of the 2015 nuclear deal, which was signed by his predecessor Barack Obama to place confidence-building curbs on Iran’s nuclear program in return for the removal of anti-Iran international sanctions.
European leaders have strongly condemned the US move, seeing it as undermining regional security and a direct attack on their economic interests.
Russia and China, two other parties to the agreement, have also criticized the US move and vowed to maintain trade with Iran.