Published: Thu, May 25, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Iran's president criticizes U.S. after Trump's sharp words


Forty-three per cent of Iranians "strongly approved" of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the deal is called, when it was signed two years ago. These relations will help in improving Iran's shattered economy and ensure continued improvements in expanding freedoms to its citizens. And Iranian decision-makers are well aware of this.

New French President Emmanuel Macron congratulated Rouhani for his re-election on Saturday and said this reinforced the hope his government would apply the worldwide nuclear agreement. As such, the Iranian population always surprises world public opinion by the level of its complexity and pragmatism. But despite his weaknesses and those of the system itself, he is still Iran's best hope for more civil rights, and a more open society.

Both countries have made bellicose statements, with Iran's defense minister, Hossein Dehghan, telling the Arabic-speaking Al-Manar channel: "We warn them against doing anything ignorant, but if they do something ignorant, we will leave nowhere untouched apart from Mecca and Medina".

The incumbent President Hassan Rouhani won a landslide victory obtaining over 23.4 million of votes (57%) from more than 41 million ballots cast on May 19 in the 12th presidential election held on Friday. Even though he devoted roughly a third of his speech to Iran, he did not once mention the presidential election. He and his administration have sent conflicting signals over the nuclear deal, a major triumph for former U.S. president Barack Obama under which Tehran is required to limit its activities in return for a lifting of economic sanctions.

The president's strong reaction to U.S. rhetoric follows his Tuesday comments at a press conference in Tehran, during which he explicitly defended Iran's ballistic missile program.

And for his part, President Rouhani called Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia a theatrical gathering and told the Associated Press today that relations with the USA are, quote, "a curvy road".

Mr Rouhani also said Iran would continue its ballistic missile programme, which has been heavily criticised by the Trump administration.

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He wished for the boost in relations between Iran and Singapore during President Rouhani's new tenure. We've had 10-12 inquiries in the last 24 hours - people who have booked calls and meetings. Rafsanjani's vote total surpassed all the votes received in Tehran by hard-line cleric Ebrahim Raisi in his failed presidential bid against Rouhani.

"The administration of president Rouhani successfully managed to implement nearly all the points of the country's foreign policy agenda in the past years".

"Buying arms or building weapons won't make a country powerful". Nevertheless, if the relations between the USA and Russian Federation get worse, then Iran will remain on the U.S.'s enemy list. So Rouhani is not just the "moderate" president, he is also the president of economic recovery.

Tehran and Riyadh are involved in proxy wars across the region, backing opposite sides in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon. "I hope one day the rulers of this country will allow their rule to not be hereditary", said Rouhani.

Oubai Shahbandar, a Syrian-American analyst and fellow at the New America Foundation's International Security Program, said Tehran seems to go to great lengths to complain when the USA and the Arab Coalition take it to task "for its very real and risky malign activity". He needs support for his efforts to repress the hardliners.

Ultimate power in Iran rests not with the president but with the supreme leader, who is chosen by a clerical panel and has the final say over all matters of state. Hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was Tehran's mayor just before becoming president in 2005.

On the other hand, Rouhani said on Monday that regional stability in the Middle East would be impossible to achieve without Iran.

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