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Iran responded to the announcement of Joe Biden as the projected U.S. president-elect with ridicule, but reports indicate the Middle East nation ultimately sees President Trump's loss as a positive.
Many world leaders congratulated Biden after media outlets projected him to win the 2020 U.S. presidential election, but Iran stood strong in its criticism of a nation with which it has had a tumultuous relationship.
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Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of Iran used the moment to issue a statement that made it clear he has no love for America — regardless of the election result.
Calling the election a "spectacle," he declared the process "an example of the ugly face of liberal democracy."
"Regardless of the outcome, one thing is absolutely clear," Khamenei wrote. "The definite political, civil, & moral decline of the US regime."
Iranian Vice President Eshagh Jahangiri spoke more diplomatically, according to Reuters.
“I hope we will see a change in the destructive policies of the United States, a return to the rule of law and international obligations and respect for nations” Jahangiri said, according to state media.
Other statements from Iranian advisers indicate the administration ultimately sees Trump's election defeat as a positive.
Presidential adviser Hesameddin Ashena tweeted that "the Iranians stood until the coward left," making it clear in subsequent tweets that the "coward" refers to Trump.
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Ashena described "national efforts and Islamic zeal" in the effort to remain unbowed, and warned that "if Biden comes, we also tell him that it is a mistake to test the tested."
“Tehran sees Trump’s defeat as a vindication of its resistance policy. This will have devastating consequences for those who think diplomacy with Iran post-Trump will be cheap or easy,” Behnam Ben Taleblu, a senior fellow at think-tank FDD in Washington, told Reuters.
Biden's victory could lead to renewed discussions between the U.S. and Iran, which would return long-discussed topics to the table, including Iran's nuclear program.
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Biden has said he plans to return to the 2015 nuclear deal that President Obama's administration struck with Iran, from which Trump withdrew in 2018.
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