Trump's Saudi Summit Was 'a Show Without Any Value' - Rouhani

Rouhani, asked if he had a message for Trump, appeared to signal that he was still interested in a dialogue despite the increasingly hostile posture taken by the new U.S. president toward Iran.

As this move was considered a major betrayal, Saudis welcomed President Trump's hardline stance on Iran which he highlighted in his speech at the Summit with more than 50 Arab and Islamic countries.

Just days after President Donald Trump blasted the Islamic Republic for its illicit ballistic missile program and support of terrorism in the Middle East, Rouhani confirmed that Iran would not cease its missile activity, despite repeated calls by USA officials.

"The U.S. leaders should know that whenever we need a missile test because of a technical aspect, we will test", he said. "Iran had a role in the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia in 1996, and the terrorist attack against Jewish targets in Argentina in the late 1990s".

In his first official visit overseas since he took office, Trump visited Saudi Arabia, which is now suspending diplomatic ties with Iran, and concluded a ¥12-trillion arms deal between the United States and Saudi Arabia.

Rouhani beat his main challenger, conservative ex-prosecutor Ebrahim Raisi in the first round of the election, polling nearly 57 percent of the vote and winning another four-year term as president. "We are waiting for this government to settle".

Although Iran's production of crude oil, whose reserves are ranked the fourth-largest in the world, has increased, the unemployment rate remains high at 12 percent.

The nuclear agreement Mr Rouhani's government reached with global powers in 2015, under which most worldwide sanctions have been lifted in return for Iran curbing its nuclear programme, is likely to remain safe.

"He [Trump] should know that relevant worldwide bodies have time and again stated Iran has fulfilled its commitments", the official said.

Despite Trump's confrontational rhetoric, Iran had nothing to do with the terror attacks on the USA in September 2001, or subsequent attacks in Europe - including Germany, France and England.

"The problem is that the Americans do not know our region and those who advise US officials are misleading them", he added. More serious potential reformers-like the many people excluded from the candidate lists for the upcoming parliamentary elections in February (including Khomeini's grandson), not to mention Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who, after being cheated out of his presidential victory in 2009, became something of a genuine reformer and sits in house arrest in Tehran to this day-are not allowed anywhere near the levers of power.

The Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), the country's most powerful security force, are unlikely to forget his attacks, which played to widespread frustration with a state that controls how Iranians speak, gather and dress.

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. It led to relief from worldwide economic sanctions in return for curbs on the country's nuclear program. That's when the Iranian regime went into Syria and helped Bashar al-Assad kill his own people. They have survived revolution, war, and repression, yet they still attempt to make change happen, even if it is at the margins.

This is not to say that the Iranian people are in favour of Rouhani, a man who executed nearly 4,000 people in just four years, boasts about Iran's support for the dictator Bashar al-Assad, and now presides over an Iran where millions live in poverty; just that Khamenei felt that Raisi would cause the biggest protests.

  • Leroy Wright