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US repeated Saddam miscalculations by waging economic war on Iran: Rouhani

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a cabinet meeting in Tehran on September 23, 2020. (Photo by

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani says the United States unleashed an economic war on Iran after leaving the 2015 nuclear deal based on the same “miscalculations” made by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 1980, when he led Iraq into an invasion of Iran.

Speaking during a cabinet meeting in Tehran on Wednesday, Rouhani said American statesmen imagined that they would receive a red carpet welcome in Tehran following Washington's unilateral withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the subsequent launch of an economic war against Iran.

Just as delusional Saddam cut short an interview at the onset of the 1980s war on Iran and said confidently that he would continue responding to reporters “next week” on Iranian soil, US statesmen “exactly repeated Saddam’s move by tearing down the JCPOA, imposing an economic war [on Iran] and saying ‘we would enter Tehran’ in a few months,” he said.

“However, just like Saddam, they failed and made mistakes in all their calculations. The same JCPOA and Resolution 2231 [which endorsed it] disgraced them at the UN Security Council,” the president added.

Recently, the administration of US President Donald Trump failed to trigger the so-called snapback provision in the JCPOA aimed at reinstating UN sanctions against Iran.

The UN Security Council member states challenged Washington’s rationale that it was still a participant state to the agreement, citing its pullout from the multilateral agreement in May 2018.

A month earlier, the Trump administration suffered yet another embarrassing defeat as it failed to keep the UN arms embargo in force against Iran through a resolution at the UN Security Council (UNSC). The ban will be lifted on October 18 under UNSC Resolution 2231, which enshrined the JCPOA.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iranian chief executive stressed that it has been unprecedented in the US history to fail at the Security Council after months of working on a resolution.

He recalled how Saddam’s objective had been to topple the Islamic establishment in Iran, but the Ba’athist regime had been overthrown itself thanks to the resistance of the Iranian people.

“Two and a half years ago, the United States started an economic war against our country based on illusions and miscalculations, and their goal was to cut Iran's economic lifelines,” Rouhani said.

Rouhani further said the Islamic Republic has been “facing sanctions since 1980, but the economic war against Iran [actually] began in 2018, and the United States has employed its full capacity [to win this war],” referring to Washington’s so-called maximum pressure campaign of sanctions and military threats against the Islamic Republic.

Today, however, “the grandeur of the United States and the hegemony it thought it possessed on the world stage have collapsed,” the president said.

“The Iranian nation…marked a great historical victory in terms of military and defense achievements during the eight-year Sacred Defense [against the Saddam regime]. Today, it has similarly achieved a great political, legal and diplomatic success [vis-a-vis the US],” Rouhani added.

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