Iran's Rouhani says missile tests will continue 'if necessary'

Asserting that unity and consensus is the solution against the terrorism, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said that terrorism is now on the path to eradication, although there is a lot to be done in this respect.

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran's newly re-elected President Hassan Rouhani took barbed swipes at the US and its ally Saudi Arabia on Monday, hitting back at both a day after President Donald Trump used his first foreign trip to the kingdom to call for further isolation of Iran.

Rouhani said in a news conference, broadcast live on state TV.

"The Iranian nation has made a decision to be powerful".

France has said it backs Trump's call to strengthen the monitoring of the deal, but that it is committed to implementing it, including the lifting of sanctions.

President Hassan Rouhani said today that Iran does not need the permission of the United States to conduct missile tests, which would continue "if technically necessary".

Tehran and Riyadh are involved in proxy wars across the region, backing opposite sides in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon.

"The problem of terrorism will not be solved with meetings and by giving a nation's money to a superpower", President Rouhani noted, referring to Saudi Arabia's arms deal with the US.

Rouhani described the turnout in the elections as "unprecedented in Iranian history", saying if all of those who had stood in long queues at the polling stations had succeeded to vote, the figure would have increased to 45 million.

"I hope that the day will come that Saudi Arabia will adopt this path", he said.

"The Iranian people voted for moderation as they know a prosperous economy and jobs can only happen through investment, and investment through freedom and interaction with the world", he said.

Already fragile diplomatic and trade ties between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite-dominated Iran were severed a year ago, after Saudi Arabia executed a Shi'ite cleric and as a result protesters ransacked the Saudi embassy in Iran.

"The United States and Israel can declare with one voice that Iran must never be allowed to possess a nuclear weapon, and must cease its deadly funding, training and equipping of terrorists and militias", he added.

"In many conflicts in the region, Iran plays a hard role, especially in Iraq and Syria", Mr Gabriel told a news conference with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. He says the Islamic Republic still is waiting to understand what the Trump administration wants.

  • Zachary Reyes