Iranian President Hassan Rouhani compared his U.S. counterpart to the former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in comments on Wednesday.
"In recent Iranian history we have had to deal with two madmen twice ... (Donald) Trump and Saddam," Rouhani said on state television, adding that one involved Iran in a military war which started in 1980 and lasted eight years, the other in an economic one, as the Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) reported.
"Saddam was executed for his crimes ... Trump's fate is not going to look much better either," Iranian president said. However, in the end, Iran was victorious in both wars, Rouhani added, asserting that Saddam was able to occupy the south and southwest of Iran, and Trump was unable to force his plans for regime change.
During his interview, Rouhani said that because of the eight-year Iran-Iraq war, Tehran had to invest years in the reconstruction of its border provinces, but the sanctions Trump imposed were even worse. According to Tehran, there have been more than 1,500 sanctions in the past two years. They plunged Iran into the worst economic crisis in its history. However, Rouhani expressed hopes that Trump's successor, Joe Biden, will both return to the Vienna nuclear deal that Trump unilaterally left in 2018 and lift the sanctions on Iran.
The U.S. imposed crippling sanctions on Iran after Trump unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear agreement in 2018. In response, Iran began publicly exceeding limits set by the agreement while saying it would quickly return to compliance if the U.S. did the same. Rouhani, one of the architects of the 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers, favors a return to the deal and greater diplomatic engagement with the U.S. and other Western nations. Biden has also said he is in favor of returning to the nuclear deal.