Iran President Ebrahim Rais Criticizes the U.S. in First U.N. Address as President

  • Amanda Casanova Contributor
  • Published Sep 22, 2021
Iran President Ebrahim Rais Criticizes the U.S. in First U.N. Address as President

In his first U.N. address as the new president of Iran, President Ebrahim Raisi said U.S. sanctions on Iran are a "new way of war."

Raisi was sworn into the top spot in Iran last month after an election. Experts said his first speech to the U.S. was more critical than speeches from his predecessor, Hassan Rouhani.

"Sanctions are the U.S.' new way of war with the nations of the world," Raisi said, adding that the punishment during the time of the pandemic amounts to "crimes against humanity," the Associated Press reports.

U.S. sanctions on Iran have restricted international buying of medicine and other equipment. Some 118,000 people have died in Iran from COVID-19.

Raisi also criticized the U.S. for the Capitol Hill rally in January and the most recent events at the Kabul airport in Afghanistan where people were killed trying to evacuate the country.

"From the Capitol to Kabul, one clear message was sent to the world: the U.S.' hegemonic system has no credibility, whether inside or outside the country," Raisi said.

The Iranian president added that "the project of imposing Westernized identity" had failed, asserting that "today, the U.S. does not get to exit Iraq and Afghanistan but is expelled."

"Today, the world doesn't care about 'America First' or 'America is Back,'" he said.

Raisi spoke remotely via video from Tehran. He said the country is, however, willing to resume negotiations on possibly reviving a nuclear deal. He warned that he was doubtful that an agreement could be made.

"We don't trust the promises made by the U.S. government," he said.

Earlier Tuesday, an Iranian foreign ministry statement was released that said Iran would be willing to discuss nuclear talks in Vienna soon. A senior U.S. State Department official said discussions needed to start "as soon as possible."

In his own U.N. speech, President Joe Biden said the U.S. was "committed to preventing Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon."

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Pool

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.