Part 2: Iran Responds to Sanctions on Supreme Leader, IRGC

Iranian leaders condemned President Donald Trump’s decision to impose sanctions on the supreme leader and senior IRGC commanders. Trump characterized the move as a “proportionate response to Iran’s increasingly provocative actions,” referring to the downing of a U.S. drone on June 20 and attacks on tankers in May and June that Washington also attributed to Tehran.  

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesperson, however, said the new sanctions meant “closing the doors of diplomacy” between Tehran and Washington. President Rouhani and President Trump traded barbs. “The White House has become stricken with mental disability. They don't know what to do,” he said in a televised address. Some Western media outlets translated Rouhani's words as “mentally retarded.”

President Trump, in a series of angry tweets, called Rouhani’s remarks “very ignorant and insulting.” 


The following are reactions from Iran to the U.S. sanctions. 


Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei  

“The most vicious officials of the (U.S.) government accuse Iran and insult it. The Iranian nation will not give in and retreat in the face of such insults.” 

“The Iranian people have been wronged [by the US economic sanctions], but they are not weak. The nation will attain all its goals. 

“For the past 40 years, they [the US] have failed to defeat the Iranian nation. 

—June 26, 2019, in a meeting with senior Judiciary officials  


President Hassan Rouhani

RouhaniThe sanctions are “outrageous and idiotic” and mean “closing the doors of diplomacy” between Tehran and Washington.

“You sanction the foreign minister simultaneously with a request for talks.”

“The White House has become stricken with mental disability. They don't know what to do."

—June 25, 2019, in a televised address according to the Associated Press and BBC Monitoring



Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif


Ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi

"To ease tensions in the broader Persian Gulf region, the U.S. must stop its military adventurism in our region, as well as its economic war and terrorism against the Iranian people.”

"We are not in the business in succumbing to pressure. The U.S. has been applying pressure against Iran and today we witnessed that they have added more sanctions, so nobody in a clear mind can accept to have a dialogue with somebody that is threatening you with more sanctions. So as long as this threat is there, there is no way that Iran and the US can start a dialogue."

—June 24, 2019, in an interview with reporters before a U.N. Security Council meeting


Ebtekar Newspaper

"Sanctioning Diplomacy"

  • New U.S Sanctions Means Permanent Closure of Path to Diplomacy with Desperate U.S. Administration: Iran



President Donald Trump’s Response