Iranian leaders have harshly criticized U.S. foreign policy and President Donald Trump for revitalizing the U.S.-Saudi relationship on his trip to the region. In a tweet, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif sarcastically referred to the Sunni kingdom as a “bastion of democracy and moderation” and rhetorically asked if the arms deal Trump signed was foreign policy or “simply milking” the country of $480 billion.
On May 22, President Hassan Rouhani criticized U.S. foreign policy in his first press conference since he was reelected. “Americans have always made mistakes with regard to our region – when they attacked Afghanistan and Iraq, when they imposed sanctions on us, and in Syria and Yemen,” he told domestic and foreign journalists. “Americans do not know our region and the problem is that those who are advising the Americans are unfortunately either rulers who are misguiding the U.S., or buying off people in the U.S.”
On May 18, Iran’s foreign ministry announced new sanctions on nine American individuals and firms in response to the latest U.S. sanctions. On May 17, the U.S. Treasury had blacklisted three individuals and four entities for supporting Iran’s ballistic missile program.
On May 17, the U.S. State Department released a semi-annual report to Congress on sanctions imposed on individuals for human rights abuses committed in Iran. The following is the full text of a media note and the report.
On May 17, the United States imposed new sanctions on Iran even as it waived sanctions as part of the 2015 nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The United States committed to waive nuclear-related sanctions if Iran remains in compliance with the JCPOA’s terms.
The Arms Control Association welcomed the decision in a statement:
Three banned politicians are having an outsized impact on Iran’s presidential election – with their legacies benefiting President Hassan Rouhani. The three – former President Mohammad Khatami, former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi and former Parliamentary Speaker Mehdi Karroubi – are all reformists. Khatami has been banned from media appearances and travel. Mousavi and Karroubi, who both ran for president in 2009, have been under house arrest since 2011 for supporting the Green Movement protests two years earlier.
The following are polls by various organizations on the upcoming May 19 presidential election.
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The Iranian Labour News Agency
In a gesture of good will, firefighters from Tehran’s Station 55 held a memorial for William N. Tolley, a 14-year veteran of the New York City Fire Department. Tolley died on April 20 after falling five stories while fighting an apartment fire in Queens.