Iran says U.S. sanctions could lead to "permanent closure" of diplomacy
Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Photo: Iranian Leader's Press Office/Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Why it matters: During a televised speech, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani — regarded as a moderate who has previously been open to discussions with Washington — added that the sanctions show the U.S. is "afflicted by mental retardation." These comments could scuttle any "already-remote prospects" of additional talks between the two countries, per the New York Times.