Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the historic deal over Iran’s nuclear program and its implementation belied the claims against the country and demonstrated the honesty and sincerity of the Islamic Republic.
Rouhani made the remarks in a press conference attended by some 200 Iranian and foreign reporters in Tehran on Tuesday on the first anniversary of the implementation of a nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries.
Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China plus Germany signed the JCPOA on July 14, 2015 and started implementing it on January 16, 2016.
Under the JCPOA, which was implemented on January 16, 2016, Iran undertook to put limitations on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.
Since the implementation of the JCPOA, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has confirmed Iran’s compliance to its obligations under the nuclear agreement in several reports.
In his visit to Tehran on December 18, the IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano expressed satisfaction with Iran’s compliance with its commitments.
Prior to the signing of the JCPOA, Iran had repeatedly asserted that it is not after the development of weapons of mass destruction and its nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes, the Iranian president said, adding that the agreement proved Iran’s honesty and showed that what had been claimed against the Islamic Republic was merely baseless allegations and lies.
Those making such claims were speaking unjustly and unjustifiably and they should be ashamed of themselves now, he said.
“Very few pundits believed that the issue of [Iranian nuclear program’s] PMD (Possible Military Dimensions) would be resolved, and the International [Atomic Energy] Agency would admit that Iran’s past [and present outstanding] issues have ended,” the Iranian president said.
Describing the JCPOA as “a great national achievement,” Rouhani said, “The closure of this dossier was tantamount to the moral victory of the great Iranian nation,” he said.
Rouhani stressed that all of the nuclear-related sanctions against the Islamic Republic have been removed, adding that there are no more bans in the gas, oil and transport sector.
He added that, however, the US, given its hostility against the Islamic Republic, has been creating obstacles in the banking transactions between Tehran and the rest of the world.
Rouhani said Iran “is standing mightily and powerfully against” the violations of the JCPOA, adding, however, that we have not acted and will not act hastily. National interests are a principle for us and we will always bear in mind these interests.”
On the relations or lack thereof between Iran and Saudi Arabia, Rouhani said the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic has been founded on forging close ties with neighboring countries and the Arab littoral states of the Persian Gulf Arab are no exception to this principle.
It was Riyadh who initiated the problems by launching a deadly aggression “which had or has no grounds” against its impoverished northern neighbor of Yemen , Rouhani said, adding that it is in the interests of Saudi Arabia and the region as a whole for Riyadh to stop the war.
“Saudi Arabia itself unilateral cut ties with Iran and we had not demanded this,” Rouhani said.
He said some countries have sought to mediate for the improvement of relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, adding that if Saudi officials “take up the right path and make correct decisions,” Tehran is ready to even help Riyadh in regional affairs, including in Yemen, and to promote peace and unity in the region.
Elsewhere, the Iranian president said Iran is witnessing a 7.4-percent economic growth, exceeding his pledge of five percent for the year.
Rouhani hailed the creation of some 700,000 jobs this year in Iran, saying that there were only six countries that had managed to create 600,000 job this year.