President Rouhani: US in war against Iran, seeks 'regime change'
President Hassan Rouhani says the current US administration is in a war against Iran to stamp out the legitimacy of the Islamic Republic and bring about a "regime change," but that Tehran will foil the plot.
"Over the past 40 years, there has not been a more spiteful team than the current US government toward Iran and the Islamic Republic," Rouhani said at Tehran University Sunday, in a speech marking the beginning of the new academic year.
"They started with a psychological war; their next goal is an economic war and an attempt to portray [the Islamic Republic] ineffective, and their ultimate goal is to delegitimize the system and change it," he added.
Rouhani said there was a time when there was one person who had enmity with Iran and the rest were moderate, but now the worst of them have gathered at the White House.
The president said Iran has defeated the US in many arenas before and will thwart all its conspiracies with unity and integrity again.
He touched on Washington's isolation after its withdrawal from a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Rouhani said except for a few regimes, all countries view the move as "illegal" and a "mistake."
"From a political standpoint and a foreign policy perspective, Iran is certainly the winner and America the loser," in what has so far transpired.
Rouhani said Iran responded to the US withdrawal with "prudence" and refrained from hurriedly walking out of the JCPOA.
Iran, he said, can leave the JCPOA "whenever" it chooses but that national interests and security are what come first.