Iranian president calls Trump ‘tradesman,’ unqualified to negotiate nuclear deal


By Middle East Affairs

Iran’s president on Wednesday criticized Western countries for seeking to make improvements to the international nuclear agreement signed in 2015, as well as called U.S. President Donald Trump a “tradesman” who lacked qualification, Reuters reported.

President Hassan Rouhani spoke live on state television in response to French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit with Trump in Washington this week. Macron wanted to persuade Trump to stay in the deal as the U.S. president has threatened to drop out of it if the deal’s European signatories – France, Britain and Germany – don’t fix what he calls the agreement’s “terrible flaws.”

The deal, also signed by Russia, China and Iran, assured that the international community would lift sanctions that had crippled Iran’s economy in exchange for Iran curbing its nuclear program.

Trump, however, has complained that Iran still has too much freedom and that inspectors should be given more access to its nuclear sites. He’s also expressed concerns about Iran’s growing influence in the Middle East region, especially in warring countries. Trump is set to waive U.S. sanctions on Iran by May 12, but if France, Britain and Germany don’t present a plan by then to fix the “flaws,” he has threatened not extend the sanctions relief. After Macron’s visit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will also meet with Trump later this week.

“They say that with the certain leader of a European country we want to make a decision about a seven-sided agreement,” Rouhani said in a speech broadcast live on state TV.

“For what? With what right?” he added.

He especially criticized Trump.

“You don’t have any background in politics. You don’t have any background in law. You don’t have any background on international treaties,” Rouhani said. “How can a tradesman, a merchant, a building constructor, a tower constructor make judgments about international affairs,” he said.

Reuters said Macron proposed during his visit to the White House that the United States and Europe block any Iranian nuclear activity until at least 2025, confront Iran’s ballistic missile program and “generate conditions for a political solution to contain Iran in Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.”

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