Iran's Rouhani pledges to continue missile programme as he begins new term

by Garry Watts August 6, 2017, 0:28
Iran's Rouhani pledges to continue missile programme as he begins new term

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was sworn in for a second term Saturday in front of more than 100 foreign dignitaries as he accused the United States of undermining the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and the major world powers.

Rouhani, said the nuclear deal has been a sign of "good faith" by Iran and that it brought the nation respite from U.N. sanctions.

Under Rouhani's watch, Iran reached a landmark deal with six major powers in 2015 under which it agreed to curb its nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of sanctions which had been in place for a decade.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani was sworn in for a second term on Saturday and he promptly warned the United States against tearing up the nuclear deal reached with Barack Obama.

Stressing that the people of Afghanistan have been grappling with insecurity and instability for at least 40 years, he said: "Iran has always stood by the courageous Afghan nation during the ups and downs of the country's history and will continue to do so".

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani left Kabul on Saturday morning for Tehran to take part in a ceremony of his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani, the presidential palace said.

"And the second debate is, if these sanctions are to be implemented, how should Iran respond?"

But the Europeans do oppose Iran's recent missile tests, with the French foreign ministry stating on Thursday that they "contradict" UN Resolution 2231 which oversees the nuclear deal, and "constitute a potential threat to stability and security in the region".

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Among the guests were European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who has vowed to continue building ties with Iran despite mounting pressure from the United States to keep the Islamic republic isolated.

He gained 57.14% of the votes.

The US has also imposed sanctions on Iran over the country's missile activities, which the Islamic Republic says are for defensive purposes and not banned.

The move by Trump is likely to embolden his hardline critics, who say the nuclear deal was a form of capitulation.

Before the inauguration ceremony, Iranian officials urged European countries not to ally themselves on this issue with Trump, according to news agency reports.

Rouhani said that his main concern for the next four years would be to improve the economy of the country to promote social justice and eliminate poverty.

Rouhani also made a call for unity, saying it is time to act in unison to advance Iran.


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