From Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iran Business News.
In Iran, both government officials and regular citizens have reacted with anger to the Oct. 13 speech made by US President Donald Trump on his new Iran strategy.
Though Trump attempted to distinguish between the Iranian people and the Iranian state, his reference to the “Arabian Gulf” instead of the “Persian Gulf” caused widespread outrage among ordinary Iranians, with #NeverTrustUSA trending on Twitter.
The term Arabian Gulf was first used by pan-Arab movements in Iraq in the 1960s and then by nationalist Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser in reaction to Tehran’s siding with Israel in its conflicts with Arab states.
Shortly after Trump’s speech, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani gave a televised address in which he slammed the US president, urging him to be ethical and polite.
Mentioning Trump’s use of the term Arabian Gulf, Rouhani said:
“I invite the US president to read more about history and geography. … How [has] a president not yet learned the name of a famous, historical and global gulf — the Persian Gulf, through which, unfortunately, American warships are constantly coming and going. He should have at least asked his military advisers how they write the name of this gulf on their maps.”
Noting Trump’s threats to kill the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Iranian president said:
“As long as our rights are guaranteed, and as long as our interests require, and as long as we enjoy its benefits, we will respect the JCPOA within the framework of the interests of our nation … [Trump] says that, in cooperation with Congress, he will amend the JCPOA. [Seemingly], he doesn’t know that [it is not possible] to add any clause, article and paragraph to the JCPOA.”
Hinting at Europe’s opposition to Trump’s strategy toward Iran, Rouhani continued:
“The great people of Iran saw that for the first time the United States took a stand against a multilateral international commitment, and immediately, major countries of the world and the European Union took a stand against the United States. The US today is lonelier than ever on the JCPOA and its conspiracies against the Iranian nation.”
On Oct. 14, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif joined Rouhani in condemning Trump’s speech.