Details added (first version posted on 18:13)
Tehran, Iran, May 5
By Mehdi Sepahvand – Trend:
Six presidential candidates in Iran have explicitly or implicitly expressed their confidence in the country’s nuclear deal, officially named the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and their future compliance with the pact if they become president.
The most unexpected statement of such effect came from ultra-conservative candidate Ebrahim Raisi, who said with all shortcomings he thought the deal has, he would recognize it as “a document”, Trend correspondent reported May 5.
Raisi who was speaking in a live debate with the other five candidates, criticized the incumbent government, nonetheless, for the JCPOA “has had no contribution to people’s lives.”
Hassan Rouhani, First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri, Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, Ebrahim Raisi, Mostafa Hashemi Taba, and Mostafa Mirsalim are debating their views in hope to gain the most votes in the May 19 presidential election.
Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, also a conservative, said the nuclear deal would be respected by “all governments”.
However, he argued that the way the JCPOA was executed has faults, adding the deal has contributed to the wellbeing of those with connections to wealth and power rather than the wellbeing of the grassroots.
Mirsalim, yet another conservative, defended the nuclear deal for having “communicated the report of Iran’s violated rights to the world…. That Iran is not looking for nuclear weapons.” However, he criticized that the world powers which signed the deal with Iran have not upheld their side of the deal. “After the nuclear deal we dismissed our scientists and limited our nuclear program,” he said.
President Rouhani, defending the deal which was administered by him, lashed out at the critics for having discouraged the country’s nuclear negotiators and tried to agitate the other sides out of the deal.
Jahangiri for his part defended the deal and underlined the difficulties that sanctions had brought on people before the nuclear deal was reached. “Families had a hard time finding medication for their ill members under sanctions. Baby formulas were rare, silos were empty.”
“The nuclear deal was one of the greatest achievements of the history of Iran. It turned Irano-phobia into Iranio-philia. Thanks to the deal, we managed to increase petrochemical output by 30 percent, free our petrodollars that had been frozen overseas, and insure ships so that they could travel to Iran.”
Hashemi Taba also defended the deal, censuring the JCPOA critics for having denied the destructive effects of sanctions.