Rouhani takes on Trump

"The Americans do not know our religion, that's what the catch is", Rouhani said in response to a question from AP. "That's where the real fight is, not in Riyadh".

President Donald Trump recommitted the United States to full support of Saudi Arabia and Israel against Iran during his state visit to Riyadh and talks with Saudi leaders.

The Iranian leader, who was recently re-elected to serve a second term, also slammed a multibillion-dollar arms deal signed between the USA and Saudi Arabia during the visit, arguing that this would not solve the problem either. "If the USA president is committed to his own electoral slogans, and considers himself a friend of Riyadh's government, then he must engage the Saudis regarding the methods necessary to stop Takfiri terrorists from continuing to fuel fires in the region and repeat attacks such as the 9/11 attacks by its citizens in Western countries". However, the Elders also warned that inflammatory rhetoric towards Iran can aggravate sectarianism and fuel current and future wars, and called on all leaders to exercise restraint. The Elders noted the recent meeting between the US President and Sunni leaders gathered in Saudi Arabia and urged the US to broaden its outreach to all regional parties. Shortly after his're-election', Rouhani praised the Iranian terror squad the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), despite criticising them whilst campaigning. "I hope it can settle so that we can have a better judgement about those in Washington".

However, in Riyadh, Trump abandoned any pretense of following up on his repeated rhetoric during the United States presidential election past year to hold the Saudi leaders accountable for their decades of financial and other support for Islamic extremists, Giraldi pointed out. These are necessary because in 2015, the Republican-dominated Congress rejected the JCPOA and U.S. President Barack Obama used executive authority to waive U.S. sanctions but these waivers need to be renewed periodically. This strained the relationship between the US and Israel, as Netanyahu argued that the deal would not stop Iran from enriching uranium.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif also hit out at the USA in a series of sarcastic tweets on Monday.

"Iran-fresh from real elections- attacked by @POTU.S.in that bastion of democracy & moderation".

Congratulating the day of Khorramshahr's freedom, the President said: "Khordad 3rd is the day of victory against aggression and freedom of Khorramshahr with God's will by Islam warriors and I congratulate this day to the whole Iranian nation and Imam Khomeini's soul".

  • Zachary Reyes