Rouhani: Nuke talks – US’s only successful engagement with Iran (UPDATE)
Tehran, Iran, May 22
By Mehdi Sepahvand, Fatih Karimov – Trend:
The nuclear talks were the only successful US engagement with the Islamic Republic, said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who was re-elected on May 19.
The US has used numerous measures against Iran in the past 40 years, all leading to failure, Rouhani said in his first presser after the re-election in Tehran May 22, Trend's correspondent reported from the event.
The United States has failed in all of its actions in the Middle East, namely Afghanistan and Iraq, Rouhani said.
They achieved a relative success in the nuclear talks, where they "negotiated with respect" with the representatives of the Iranian people, Rouhani added.
"We are still waiting for the new US administration to be established in terms of positions, agenda and thoughts, so we can have a precise judgment," Rouhani said commenting about possible talks between Tehran and Washington under the Trump administration.
Responding to a question about a recent US-Saudi arms deal, worth $110 billion during Trump’s visit to Riyadh, he said that buying weapons is not the way of gaining power.
He said Iran doesn’t buy weapons but manufactures its needed weapons, but added that power is not obtained through buying or manufacturing weapons.
"Basis of power is national power, derived from election," Rouhani said.
Saudi Arabia already spent about $100 billion during the war between Iraq and Iran (1980-1988), he added.
He further said that Saudi people are Iran’s neighbors and friends.
Commenting on Iran’s missile program, Rouhani said the Islamic Republic’s missile program aims at guaranteeing peace, not aggression.
"Whenever we have a technical need for a missile test, we will carry it out, and will not wait for US permission," the Iranian president said, adding that the missile tests are carried out to strengthen Iran’s defense capability.
He underlined that Tehran has proven that is not after weapons of mass destruction.
Responding to a question about taking steps to launch talks for removal of non-nuclear sanctions imposed by US against Tehran, Rouhani said, "If it is Iranian people’s will, and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei takes the lead [in this matter], all of us will move behind him."