Iran compares George Floyd’s death to “the feet of arrogance on the neck of independent nations”

Iran has criticised the United States by comparing George Floyd’s death to “the feet of arrogance on the neck of independent nations”, according to the Associated Press.

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani used the metaphor during a speech at the United Nations on Tuesday, saying Mr Floyd’s death is “reminiscent of our own experience” with the US.

“We instantly recognise the feet kneeling on the neck as the feet of arrogance on the neck of independent nations,” Mr Rouhani said in pre-recorded remarks.  

“The footage broadcast to the world concerning the treatment of an African American by the U.S. police is reminiscent of our own experience.”

He added: “For decades, the valiant Iranian nation has paid a similar high price for its quest for freedom and liberation from domination and despotism.”

The comments come days after Iran’s currency fell to its lowest ever levels as a result of sanctions imposed by Donald Trump, which effectively prevent the country from selling oil globally.

“The United States can impose neither negotiations, nor war on us. Life is hard under sanctions. However, harder is life without independence,” Mr Rouhani said, according to AP.

The Trump administration imposed sanctions on Iran after withdrawing from the nuclear deal struck under the Obama administration.

Mr Rouhani described the US as a terrorist and interventionist outsider and that Iran does not deserve sanctions, which came after the White House issued an executive order on Monday enforcing a slate of punitive measures on Tehran.  

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Saturday, 19 September that it reimposed previously terminated UN sanctions on Iran under the “snapback” provision of the 2015 nuclear deal that Trump withdrew from in 2018.

He said at a news conference on Monday that the president’s executive order had given the US a “new and powerful tool to enforce the UN arms embargo and hold those who seek to evade UN sanctions accountable”.

“Our actions today are a warning that should be heard worldwide. No matter who you are, if you violate the U.N. arms embargo on Iran, you risk sanctions,” Mr Pompeo said.

In his speech to the UN, Mr Rouhani mentioned Iranian Revolutionary Guard general Qassem Soleimani, who was killed by a US airstrike in Baghdad, as “assassinated hero” and said his country was “not a bargaining chip in US elections and domestic policy”.

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