Rouhani Vs Trump; A verbal altercation

[A VOA Persian report about Hassan Rouhani and other Iranians responding to Trump’s speech about Iran.]

TV anchor: Even though it is midnight in Iran, the U.S. president’s speech has created some reactions. My colleague Arash Sigarchi is here with us. Welcome, Arash. What was the reaction of Iran’s highest-ranking officials?

–Perhaps the most important official who reacted in Iran was Hassan Rouhani. In an unannounced press conference, Hassan Rouhani announced his own and Iran’s position. And if you omit Rouhani’s name and replace it with Khamenei’s, the positions are very similar. Rouhani said – and we had heard this before from Iranian leaders – that ‘we don’t have any problems with American people and we respect them.’ On the other hand, Rouhani said, ‘for 40 years we have got used to your words and we were not surprised.’ But the interesting point was that just as President Trump pointed out to issues that Iran previously had with the U.S., Rouhani too tried to mention to problematic points in the relationship between the two countries. Trump mentioned the attacks of military groups affiliated with Iran. And Rouhani pointed out to the issue of Iran Air’s Flight 655 in which an Airbus was shut down by USS Vincennes, or to other cases in which there are disagreements between the two countries such as overthrowing Mossadeq’s government. In this way, the two presidents tried to respond to each other. Apart from this, Iran’s foreign ministry showed reaction as well. We had two other taking stances as well. One by Maryam Rajavi on behalf of MEK, who welcomed Trump’s speech. And the other by Ardeshir Amir-Arjomand, close to Mousavi, criticized Trump. And some people in cyberspace told him, ‘you never take any stances, so why now?’

TV anchor: Apparently it affected Iran’s economy very quickly. What happened?

–It started since last week. And we saw that price of the dollar went up a little, reaching 4,140 tomans per dollar, and now it is 4,100 tomans per dollar. We should wait and see what will happen next week.

TV anchor: What were the reactions in cyberspace?

–There were many discussions. Two marginal issues became prominent. The issue of Arabian Gulf – Persian Gulf became prominent. And the other one was that expression that President Trump used his speech. And many addressed it. But it was a hot issue and it had many proponents and opponents.