IRAN: Rouhani says regional stability impossible without Tehran

"The Americans do not know our region, that's what the catch is", Rouhani said in response to a question from The Associated Press.

He also "vetted" ex-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad out of the contest probably because he knew which way the popular opinion had swung because of the economic hardship Iran's challenging regional policies were attracting.

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has described relations with the United States as "a curvy road".

Washington last week imposed new sanctions on Iran, over its ballistic missile programme. "Unfortunately, Americans have always made mistakes in our region", he continued. "It will make them (rulers) stronger". Maybe they think they need to buy arms but we do not need to buy arms, we make them.

During his Saudi Arabia visit, Tillerson said Saturday that he hopes the re-election of Rouhani would prompt changes to Tehran's approach to "terrorism and human rights".

In a jibe at the billion-dollar deals signed between Trump and the Saudi government, he said: "You can't solve terrorism just by giving your people's money to a superpower". The Sunni-led Saudi Arabia and Shiite-led Iran have been at odds over many military actions within Syria and Yemen in recent years where they support rival groups.

Rouhani won this week's Iranian presidential election with a resounding majority, a sign that most Iranians wish to keep on the president's course of reform and modernization.

"I hope that the day will come that Saudi Arabia will adopt this path", he said. "They should be picked by the people".

The French president took the occasion to congratulate his Iranian counterpart on his political victory from Friday. The elections remain tightly controlled, however, and many candidates are excluded during a pre-election vetting process.

"The Iranian nation has chose to be powerful".

The Sunni kingdom and Shiite power Iran haven't had diplomatic relations since early 2016.

President Hassan Rouhani won his second term with 57 percent of the vote while his opponent fellow-cleric, head of the chief shrine of Mashhad, Ebrahim Raisi got only 38 percent. Trump, meanwhile, has threatened to tear up the deal.

Mr Trump began a trip to Israel on Monday by saying that it shared a "common cause" with its Arab neighbours in "the threat posed by Iran". But addressing the leaders of 55 Muslim-majority countries, Trump said the meeting marked a "new chapter" that would bring lasting benefits for citizens of the US and those of the countries being represented at the meeting.While Trump has won some praise for his mollifying statements, this new persona has not convinced everyone in the Muslim world.Without formal relations, there aren't direct flights between the two nations.

Iraqis and Syrians have together fought the so-called Islamic State group with Iran's support, Rouhani said, adding that without Iran no regional security and stability is foreseeable.

As part of his speech, he also addressed Iran's weapons programs. Americans do not know our region and the problem is that those who are advising the Americans are unfortunately either rulers who are misguiding the U.S., or buying people in the US. "We will not wait for them and their permission".

Qassemi added Iran is a country which promotes the values of peace and "the creation of a world opposed to violence and extremism".

  • Leroy Wright