Iran will continue missile programme, says Rouhani

Iran's newly re-elected President Hassan Rouhani said Monday that Iran's relationship with the U.S.is a "curvy road", and called President Donald Trump's summit in Saudi Arabia this past weekend "just a show".

Iran's struggle to emerge economically since the late 2015 nuclear deal was signed by the major powers in return for a curbing of Tehran's nuclear development programme has been undercut by Washington sanctions which keep the country shut out of the world financial system when it comes to dollar trades and financing.

Trump doubled down on his criticism of Tehran during his visit to Israel on Monday, insisting that Iran should "never be allowed to possess a nuclear weapon - never, ever", because he claims the Islamic Republic supports terrorists.

Iran also accused the United States of arming "dangerous terrorists" a direct reference to the $110 billion arms deal Trump signed with Saudi Arabia's, King Salman, Saturday during his visit to the Kingdom.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said France is convinced that Iran under Rouhani will have "an important role in the pacification" of the region. "And we need to be very careful of what action we take, what we say, because words can soothe, they can calm but they can also provoke and they can also excite". While global inspections show Iran is complying, Trump's officials have questioned the wisdom of the deal and reverted to the line that the nation is a leading state sponsor of terrorism.

Rouhani added: "Our missiles are for peace, not for attack". "When they imposed sanctions on us, they made a mistake", he said.

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

He added that it was Iran´s allies in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq that had been leading the fight against the Islamic State group and other jihadis. "It is not possible to fight terrorism with precisely these kinds of shows". "The basis of military power is national power, and this power is from the back of elections".

Emphasising that Iran has never sought nuclear weapons and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has on several occasions verified peaceful nature of Tehran's nuclear program, Rouhani said Iran has always been at the forefront of combating terrorism and its image is totally clear to the world.

A top United States official has told Trend that the White House is reviewing its policy regarding Iran and until the completion of the review, Washington will adhere to its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The newly-elect president further spoke about ties with Washington, noting that the nuclear talks were the only successful USA engagement with the Islamic Republic.

  • Zachary Reyes