The Twitter account belonging to Iranian president Hassan Rouhani has deleted a controversial tweet saying world powers had “surrendered to Iranian nation’s will” in concluding an interim agreement to curb the country’s nuclear program.
The tweet, posted early Tuesday morning EST, stood in stark contrast to Rouhani’s more open approach to the West. By Wednesday morning, the tweet had been deleted.
Asked about the tweet on Tuesday, Jay Carney, the White House spokesman, told reporters the White House believed Rouhani was appealing to his “domestic audience,” where hardliners have at times criticized the deal.
“It is not surprising to us and nor should it be surprising to you that the Iranians are describing the agreement in a certain way towards their domestic audience,” Carney said. “It does not matter what they say, it matters what they do.”
Rouhani’s tweet stoked controversy as the White House attempts to fight off a new bill that would introduce further sanctions on Iran. The interim deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for some sanctions relief is due to begin on Jan. 20.