Rouhani says Iran’s ballistic missile program will continue

Reformist candidates have reportedly swept municipal elections in the Iranian capital, taking all 21 seats in Tehran as moderate President Hassan Rouhani won a second term.

He said Iran was still forming its judgment of the Trump administration. Conservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi was the main challenger but he bagged only 38.5% votes.

Rouhani decisively won a presidential election on Friday, securing another four-year term.

During the campaign, Rouhani underlined that the election was a choice between “extremism” and “civil liberties”.

In foreign policy, Mr. Rouhani will present the image of a moderate and more outward-oriented Iran.

“Who they choose for their president is their business, as it should be”. Yet where Raisi went into the justice department, Rouhani went into diplomacy. Opponents say that while cheating is unlikely, they fear that Iran will retain its nuclear appetite after abstaining during the 10-15 year period and resume its activity once the inspection obligations expire. It was a victory for reformists against hardliners.

Guided by Rouhani and Obama, Iran and major world powers reached an agreement on a landmark deal in 2015 that relaxed economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for verifiable limits on Iran’s nuclear work. Domestic social reforms were largely ignored. Early attacks on Rouhani were thus seen as efforts by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, his conservative clerical allies, and the Revolutionary Guards to weaken and contain the incumbent in his second term. “He has now contributed to that pressure himself by campaigning hard as a reformist, particularly in the final days”.

“The election does give Rouhani a mandate to push things through”, Ghanem Nuseibeh, founder of London-based management consultant Cornerstone Global Associates, said in an interview in Dubai on Sunday.

The councils have opened up Iran’s political system in the time since. “But what scant data was available before the vote showed Rouhani in the lead”. The Republican congress and the Trump Presidency in the United States will not be almost as willing to cut deals with the Iran – already negotiating large arms sales to Iran’s main political opponent Saudi Arabia.

Speaking at a joint news conference with his U.S. counterpart in Riyadh, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Iran’s presidential election was an internal matter. “Yet, the determinant bloc is the Saudi-U.S. one”.

On Monday, Rouhani said that Iran would continue test of its missiles anytime if there was a “technical need”, and it would not seek the permission of any other country to do so.

‘America should stop selling arms to risky terrorists’. Regarding the crisis in Syria, he reiterated that Tehran believes that it must be solved by peaceful means, and cited as an example that along with with Russian Federation and Turkey they are cooperating to re-establish the cease-fire in order to create a quiet situation for the Syrian people.

US urges Rouhani to end ballistic missile tests