Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has dismissed the sanction imposed on Iran Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei as “outrageous and idiotic” and described the White House as “mentally retarded”.
Hassan Rouhani said the measures against Iran’s supreme leader unveiled by President Donald Trump on Monday would be “useless” and denounced US plans to target his foreign minister.
The moves showed the White House was “mentally retarded”, Mr Rouhani added.
Mr Trump said he was responding to recent “aggressive behaviour” by Iran.
Last week, Iranian forces shot down a US surveillance drone that they said had violated Iranian airspace over the Strait of Hormuz. The US insisted the drone was flying over international waters.
The US has also accused Iran of being behind two sets of explosions that have damaged six oil tankers in the region, through which a fifth of the world’s oil passes each day. Iran has rejected the allegation.
Tensions between the two countries have escalated steadily since May 2018, when Mr Trump abandoned the landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, and began reinstating sanctions to force Iran to renegotiate the accord.
Last month, Iran scaled back some its commitments under the deal, including on the amount of low enriched uranium it is allowed to stockpile, after Mr Trump ended exemptions from US secondary sanctions for countries still buying Iranian oil.