12:22 GMT18 January 2021
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    Tensions between the US and Iran were heightened when US President Donald Trump decided to withdraw from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and begin reimposing previously lifted economic sanctions against the Middle Eastern country. The pair have remained at odds as Trump has voiced a variety of threats against Iran.

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed himself freely on Wednesday and issued a series of heated remarks against Trump, even going so far as to equate the American commander-in-chief to deceased Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

    During a Cabinet meeting, Rouhani stated that Trump would likely suffer a fate similar to that of Hussein, who had waged a yearslong war against Iran in the 1980s and was later hanged in 2006 for his role in the 1982 Dujail massacre.

    “The fate of US President Donald Trump will not be better than Saddam Hussein,” Rouhani said in comments obtained by the Fars News Agency. "We had two crazy creatures in history who imposed war on the people. One was Saddam, and the other was Trump."

    "Saddam imposed military war, and Trump imposed economic war on us," he continued, before noting that Iran was “united during the war and defeated Saddam.” He added, “We also witnessed the day when that madman was executed.”

    As for the US’ sanctions against Iran, Rouhani stated that the country “did not let this economic war reach its goal.”

    Rouhani’s remarks come a handful of weeks before Trump is expected to depart the White House on Inauguration Day, when US President-elect Joe Biden will take the political reins. Iranian officials are hoping that once Biden takes over the Oval Office, the US will rejoin the JCPOA and begin the process of lifting the crippling sanctions that affected Iran’s oil sales, imports and financial transactions.

    The Iranian president previously indicated during a televised ceremony that he had “no doubt” that under a Biden presidency, the US would resume its role as a JCPOA signatory. Biden has made it known that he intends to resume talks with Iran, but it is unclear much of a priority the matter will be for the incoming administration.

    Ahead of Biden’s takeover, tensions between the US and Iran will more than likely reach a new boiling point. Most recently, several of Trump's defense chiefs gathered at the White House on Wednesday to discuss potential responses to Iran over the December 20 bombardment of Iraq’s Green Zone, where the US Embassy is located. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has claimed Iran was involved in the attack. Trump later took to Twitter to offer some “friendly health advice to Iran” by stating: “If one American is killed, I will hold Iran responsible.”
    Joe Biden, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Donald Trump, Saddam Hussein, Hassan Rouhani, US, Iran
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