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Iran's President Rouhani Calls U.S. Election 'Choice Between Bad and Worse'

The comments Sunday were Hassan Rouhani's first public remarks on the acontest.
Image: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
Iranian president Hassan Rouhani speaks to his supporters in the city of Arak, central Iran, 23 Oct. 2016.Handout / EPA
/ Source: Associated Press

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani chastised U.S. presidential contenders Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on Sunday, calling the American election “a choice between bad and worse.”

The comments, which came during a speech in the city of Arak and were broadcast on Iranian state television, according to the Associated Press, marked Rouhani’s first public remarks on the presidential contest.

Rouhani also used the opportunity to criticize the bare knuckle-style politics that has defined the race.

“Look at their way of speaking, the way they accuse each other and the way they mock one another,” Rouhani told the crowd. “Do we want such a democracy in our country? Do we want such elections in our country?"

Iran has received a good amount of attention in the election, with Trump describing a U.S.-led deal to scale back the country’s nuclear program as “terrible.”

Clinton has defended the deal, saying the negotiations “lowered the threat” posed by Iran, though she added that the country continues to destabilize regional governments, support terrorist groups and threaten Israel. Clinton also has suggested Iran is violating U.N. Security Council rules with its ballistic missile program.

"If they are violating it — which the evidence seems to suggest — they should be held accountable," she said on "Meet the Press" earlier this year.

Trump has also suggested he would shoot Iranian boats "out of the water," if they made rude gestures at U.S. ships.