President: Iran Not to Heed Enemies' Comments on Missiles

Posted May 27, 2017

"When they attacked Afghanistan (and) Iraq, when they made sanctions against Iran".

The contrast between the two scenes was noted by Iran's newly re-elected president, Hassan Rouhani, who has sought to reach out to the West while batting back hardliners at home. With President Hassan Rouhani reelected by a large margin, the focus is on how it will affect U.S. relations with the Middle East. On the same day, the US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") designated additional parties for their involvement in Iran's military and ballistic missile program.

Rouhani, saying his reelection marks popular support for his policies to strengthen and promote competitiveness in contemporary Iran. "We are waiting for the new U.S. administration to find stability and continuity in its policies", Rouhani said.

Rouhani was the man who in 2015 lead Iran into a new era when he signed the landmark nuclear deal - the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) - with six world powers, which saw worldwide sanctions lifted on Iran in return for curbs on its nuclear programme.

He was less flattering in his assessment of the Trump administration so far.

In all this, Rouhani's reformism can fix the US' attention on Iran's commitment to peace and security-including the release of opposition figures, more freedom of thought and fewer restrictions on daily life (Edbrink, 2017). "Under Obama you had this attempt of the U.S. playing the external balancer in the region".

Rouhani also criticized Saudi Arabia, Tehran's main regional rival, just hours after Trump departed the country bound for Israel, where he arrived Monday.

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"Who fought against the terrorists?"

Washington's alliance with the mainly Sunni Muslim countries of the Arab world against Shi'ite Iran is decades old. Trump essentially picked a side in the religious, sectarian and political split that has engulfed the Middle East. The majority of Iranians take them seriously because the president does matter in Iran, no matter how curtailed his powers may be. Today, many policymakers in both Iran and the USA agree that a priority should be to eradicate ISIS, starting in war-torn Syria, where neighboring countries (not Iran) have led an overlong campaign to destabilize the Syrian state by arming rebels.

Obama's outreach to Tehran reflected that reality.

Trump also attended a summit with leaders of the 6-nation Gulf Cooperation Council on Sunday.

"The US president is hand in hand with the supporters of terrorism, human rights victimized in the dances of swords..."

US President Donald Trump's warm support for Saudi Arabia and Israel and his harsh words against Tehran should be seen as signs that the United States and its allies are heading toward war with Iran, former CIA intelligence officer Phil Giraldi told Sputnik.

Trump repeatedly has criticised Iran in speeches on his first foreign trip.

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Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister and an outspoken diplomat, advised Donald Trump, who is on a tour of the Middle East, to tackle the issue of fueling Islamist extremism with his interlocutors in Saudi Arabia.

Rouhani with the opportunity to challenge the hardliners. "Although he was not among us in the election, he predicted these days well, telling me what great religious, national and revolutionary duties I had", Dr Rouhani added. A US policy of mere pressure and threats will not change Iran or its policies.

While Lake suggested that Western policy-makers push for real reform in Iran, they should be aware that "congratulating Iran for its fake elections only legitimizes a system where real elections are not possible".

Putting a huge arms deal at the center of the visit also plays into the hands of foes who say US policy is driven mainly by money. There is no way that the Iranian Regime could possibly believe that Saudi Arabia isn't a military threat to them.

"First of all, they intend to strike a blow to the axis of resistance (read Iran's coalition) in the region", he said in remarks aired by IRIB TV. Pakistan has to decide, it is willing to jeopardise its relations with Iran for Saudi Arabia.

"From Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds, arms and trains terrorists, militias and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region", Trump said.

But the policy could be counter-productive, he said. "All parties should now try to forge common ground, in the shared interests of a peaceful Middle East and a world free from terror".

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