- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on Tuesday took sharp aim at the U.S. in a speech before the United Nations, saying America’s pledge to end wars is hollow because Washington is using sanctions as a mechanism of war.

In pre-recorded remarks from Tehran, Mr. Raisi lashed out at President Biden and his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, by mocking their oft-repeated mantras.

“Today, the world doesn’t care about ‘America First’ or ‘America is Back,’ he said.

Mr. Raisi made his remarks after Mr. Biden addressed the world body. In his speech, Mr. Biden called on nations to cooperate to solve problems such as COVID-19, terrorism and climate change.

The U.S. president urged the world to turn the page from military conflict and begin an era of “relentless diplomacy,” solving problems at the negotiating table instead of through armed conflict.

Mr. Raisi, who took the oath of office last month, said the U.S. has no right to lecture anyone. He accused the U.S. of waging war through diplomatic means to keep its hands clean.

“Sanctions are the U.S.’s new way of war with nations of the world,” he said.

Mr. Trump imposed sanctions in 2018 in response to Iran’s efforts to develop a nuclear weapon. He also pulled the U.S. out of a nuclear pact with Iran that was struck under President Obama.

Mr. Biden has sought to salvage the Obama-era deal, but talks have stalled.

Mr. Raisi says he also wants to reach an agreement to revive the deal, but he didn’t hold back criticism Tuesday.

He mocked the withdrawal from Afghanistan and accused the U.S. of trying to transform the world.

“What is seen in our region today proves that not only the hegemonist and the idea of hegemony, but also the project of imposing Westernized identity have failed miserably,” Mr. Raisi said. “Today, the U.S. does not get to exit Iraq and Afghanistan but is expelled.”

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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