Iran’s President Criticizes US Presidential Candidates

Several leaders around the world have taken the liberty to pass judgement about the presidential election in the United States. Iran’s president is the latest.

Speaking Sunday in a televised speech in the city of Ark, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said he had no preference in the U.S. election and the choice offered to American citizens was between “bad and worse” referring to presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

“Did you see the debate and the way of their speaking, accusing and mocking each other? Do we want such a democracy in our country? Do we want such elections in our country?” Rouhani asked.

He went on to comment the United States “claims it has had democracy for more than 200 years,” but the present situation indicates that “the morality has no place” there.

Rouhani said during his September visit to the U.N. General Assembly, he was asked which of the candidates he preferred and replied “should I prefer bad to worse or worse to bad?”

Iran’s state TV has broadcast two of the debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in full. It has followed the campaign, often highlighting economic and social problems in the United States and the most confrontational debate segments.

Iran will hold its own presidential election in May 2017, and Rouhani is eligible to seek a second term. He faces an uphill battle against conservatives who dislike his overtures to the West and say the nuclear deal has failed to bring significant economic benefits to Iran.

Rouhani signed the nuclear accord last year with the United States and world powers that led to the lifting of sanctions and raised hopes that Iran would return to the international fold.

U.S. Republican Party candidate Donald Trump says he would “tear up” the nuclear agreement and Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has responded that he would happily “burn” the agreement if that was the case.

Tehran and Washington have not restored diplomatic ties that were cut after the 1979 Islamic Revolution and U.S. Embassy takeover, despite the nuclear deal.