‘We are not overjoyed about Mr. Biden’s arrival, but we are happy about Trump leaving,’ Rouhani said in a televised speech to the cabinet, adding the Republican was ‘the most lawless U.S. president’ and a ‘terrorist.’
It comes after Trump was last month ‘talked out of’ launching strikes on Iran after a UN report showed a massive increase in its nuclear stockpiles.
Trump also ordered the assassination of Iran’s top ranking general at the start of this year, Qassem Soleimani, who marshalled terror factions to further Tehran’s ambitions throughout the Middle East.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaking during a press conference in Tehran, Iran, 14 December 2020
US President Donald Trump waits to address the United Nations General Assembly at its headquarters in New York, United States, Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Biden’s allies believe that Trump’s decision to pull out an Obama-era nuclear deal with Tehran in 2018 and the hardline he took only made the regime more of a threat.
However, Biden will be cautious not to appear a soft-touch against Iran which has continually alarmed the UN with its flagrant nuclear violations, its appalling human rights record and support for terror groups like Hezbollah.
Rouhani’s gloating over Trump’s election defeat comes after one of the Republican’s great backers on the world stage, the strongman Russian president Vladimir Putin, finally congratulated Biden.
Putin was one of the last world leaders who had not acknowledged Biden’s victory, with the Kremlin saying it would wait for the official results of the election.
But after Monday’s Electoral College confirmation that Biden as the winner by 306 votes to 232, Putin ‘wished the president-elect every success’ and said he was ‘ready for interaction and contact’ with Biden.
Putin also ‘expressed confidence that Russia and the United States, which have a special responsibility for global security and stability, could, despite their differences, really help to solve the many problems and challenges facing the world’.
Putin had appeared to hedge his bets in the run-up to the election, accusing Biden of ‘sharp anti-Russian rhetoric’ but welcoming his calls for nuclear arms control.
The Russian leader had also defended Hunter Biden, the president-elect’s son, against criticism from Trump over his business ties in Russia and Ukraine.
Most world leaders congratulated Biden after he was projected as the winner on November 7, four days after the election, but Putin was conspicuously silent.
Joe Biden gives another victory speech on Monday night after the electoral college confirmed him as the president-elect
On Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov had said it was ‘appropriate to wait for the official vote count’ before congratulating Biden.
Asked why in 2016 Putin had congratulated Trump almost immediately after his election victory over Hillary Clinton, Peskov said there was an obvious difference this time round.
‘You can see that there are certain legal procedures that have been announced by the current president. That is why the situations are different and we therefore think it appropriate to wait for an official announcement,’ said Peskov.
Trump has launched a barrage of lawsuits and made a series of unfounded claims of election fraud, but none of these efforts have succeeded in halting the march towards Biden’s inauguration on January 20.
On Monday, the 538 members of the electoral college who formally choose the president met in their respective states and confirmed Biden as the winner.
Peskov said Putin had repeatedly indicated he was ready to work with any US president.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday congratulated Joe Biden on his victory in the U.S. presidential election
He added that Russia hoped it could establish dialogue with a new US administration and find a way to normalise troubled bilateral relations.
‘President Putin has repeatedly said he will show respect for whatever choice the American people makes,’ Peskov said.
While Biden was vice president under Barack Obama, Moscow’s ties with Washington sank to post-Cold War lows when Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.
Relations soured further over US allegations that Moscow had meddled in the 2016 election to try to tilt the vote in Trump’s favour, something the Kremlin denied.
Trump himself has played down the findings by US intelligence, and tried to drum up evidence for a counter-claim that Ukraine had tried to help Clinton.
Trump’s ties to Russia were the subject of the two-year Mueller investigation, which neither accused him of collusion nor cleared him of obstruction of justice.