Published: Wed, May 24, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Iran slams United States for urging policy shift in second Rouhani term

Iran slams United States for urging policy shift in second Rouhani term

He becomes the fifth consecutive Iranian president to be re-elected for a second term in office claiming 23.5 million votes with his closest rival, conservative Ebrahim Raisi, on 15.8 million.

A huge turnout on Friday - estimated at more than 40 million out of 56 million registered voters - led to the vote being extended by several hours to deal with long queues.

Rouhani, a cleric whose administration struck the 2015 landmark nuclear deal with world powers, decisively won a second term in Friday's election.

Washington last week imposed new sanctions on Iran, over its ballistic missile programme.

This didn't happen, in part was because Iran's biggest trade deals were created to benefit state-controlled industries and firms affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards, who control a large chunk of the Iranian economy.

That's when Saudi Arabia executed a prominent Shiite cleric and protesters in Iran attacked two of the kingdom's diplomatic posts.

Mr Trump's administration is likely to keep putting pressure on Iran over its weapons programmes, as well as what it sees as Teheran's efforts to destabilise the Middle East, said former U.S. officials and analysts.

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But experts say the election of a moderate president will unlikely be a quick solution to the many hurdles of doing business in Iran. "We are waiting for the new government to find stability and continuity in its policies", said Rouhani.

Trump's remarks come the day after the Arab Islamic American Summit was held in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, during which the U.S. president said that Iran has been supporting terrorists, militias and extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the Middle East. Iran's most powerful authority - Ayatollah Ali Khamenei - has ruled out normalisation of ties with the United States.

Farzan said that Rouhani's "re-election will disappoint the Iranian people just the same way his presidency has disappointed them over the past four years".

After meeting with the Supreme Leader, President Rouhani visited the mausoleum of the late Founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran to renew allegiance to him and the martyrs of the Islamic Revolution and Sacred Defence and said: "We are committed to implement and realise the promises that we made to people". "We hope Europe does not fall into the trap of countries that promote their wrong interpretations of the region", Rouhani said.

President Rouhani now faces the challenge of attracting more foreign - principally European and Asian - investors into the Iranian market.

So the president - I think President Trump jumped feet-first into a policy that is very popular in Riyadh and in other Arab capitals but actually does not address the complexity of interest that the United States has in different theaters of conflict in the region. At the same time, President Obama's efforts to try to change Iranian behavior also didn't have great success.

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