Marking difference with U.S., France urges dialogue with Iran

Frederick Owens
May 29, 2017

Rouhani beat his main challenger, conservative ex-prosecutor Ebrahim Raisi in the first round of the election, polling almost 57 percent of the vote and winning another four-year term as president.

Incumbent President Hassan Rouhani won a landslide victory in the elections by garnering over 23.4 million of votes (57%) from more than 41 million ballots cast on May 19. His campaign to integrate Iran into the global economy ran into turbulence on Sunday, however, when President Donald Trump called for the Islamic Republic's isolation in a speech delivered from Saudi Arabia, Shiite Iran's Sunni-dominated regional rival.

Rouhani, the face of Tehran's deal with six major powers in 2015 to curb Iran's nuclear programme in return for the lifting of sanctions, said the US administration lacked knowledge about the Middle East. "I hope it can settle so that we can have a better judgement about those in Washington", said Rouhani.

The president added that "the issue of terrorism can not be solved through giving money to superpowers".

Mohammad Mohaddessin, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, said: "Rouhani's first term only saw a spike in suppression, executions, injustice and poverty, and an increase in Iran's meddling in neighbouring countries and expenditures on ballistic missiles, military and security projects". ' 'We hope that one day Saudi Arabia will hold elections to end hereditary rulers and make the country much more powerful, ' he continued while refuting charges by King Salman bin Abdulaziz to the Islamic Republic for allegedly promoting and exporting terrorism in the region. "When they imposed sanctions on us, they made a mistake", he said. "They should be picked by the people". That would "make it even more complicated for Trump to try to renegotiate the nuclear deal", Nuseibeh said. He met with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem and said in a statement after the meeting that Israel and Muslim nations have a growing realization that they share a "common cause" of combating "the threat posed by Iran".

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"The U.S. leaders should know that whenever we need a missile test because of a technical aspect, we will test", Rouhani said in a news conference.

The UAE, a regional trading and tourism hub, is a main trading partner with non-Arab Iran.

"Our missiles are for defence and peace", Rouhani said, adding that the U.S. expectations from Iran to halt its defensive missile program is "an illusion".

Associated Press writers Nasser Karimi and Amir Vahdat in Tehran, Iran; Geir Moulson in Berlin and Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed to this report.

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