03:28 GMT17 January 2021
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    The foreign minister is the second Iranian official to comment on Wednesday’s violence in Washington, DC. Earlier, President Hassan Rouhani blamed Donald Trump for “tarnish[ing] his country’s image and damag[ing] America’s ties with the whole world” after Trump supporters tried to storm the Capitol as Congress met to certify Joe Biden’s victory.

    Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has taken to Twitter to compare Trump’s alleged mistreatment of Americans to how he has treated Iran, and to suggest that the outgoing US president is a “security concern for the entire international community.”

    “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.

    “What’s disturbing is that the same man has the UNCHECKED authority to start a nuclear war,” he added.

    Zarif’s tweet follows remarks by President Rouhani earlier in the day suggesting that Wednesday’s events showed the “weak and fragile” nature of Western democracy and deriding Trump as a dangerous “populist.”

    Iran-US relations sunk to unprecedented lows under President Trump, edging toward the brink of open warfare on several occasions since Washington’s 2018 withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. 2019 saw an escalation of tensions in the Persian Gulf region, with a US move to send a carrier strike group to the area followed by mysterious attacks on tankers which America blamed on Tehran, as well as ship seizures and Iran's destruction of a $220 million US drone over the Strait of Hormuz in June 2019. The latter event led Trump to approve airstrikes against Iran before pulling back at the last minute.

    n this May 8, 2018 file photo President Donald Trump shows a signed Presidential Memorandum after delivering a statement on the Iran nuclear deal from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House.
    Evan Vucci
    n this May 8, 2018 file photo President Donald Trump shows a signed Presidential Memorandum after delivering a statement on the Iran nuclear deal from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House.

    In January 2020, Trump signed off on the assassination of Revolutionary Guard Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani, prompting Iran to shell two US bases with ballistic missiles, with those attacks injuring over 100 US troops. Later that year, tensions raged again off Iran’s coasts, with US warships threatening to open fire on small Iranian gunboats said to be “harassing” them.

    Late last month, the US accused ‘Iran-affiliated militias’ of responsibility for an attack on the Baghdad Green Zone housing the US Embassy. Tehran vigorously denied the claims and called the timing of the attack ‘suspicious’. The US beefed up its military footprint in the region in the wake of the attack, sending bombers to the region and deploying a nuclear submarine equipped with over a hundred Tomahawk missiles to the Persian Gulf. The Pentagon also scrapped earlier plans to bring a carrier strike group led by the USS Nimitz back to its home shores.

    Iranian officials have expressed cautious optimism about Joe Biden’s November election victory and the chances of the US rejoining the 2015 nuclear deal. At the same time, Zarif and others have warned repeatedly that the deal is not subject to renegotiation.

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