Iran’s Rouhani defends economic record ahead of election

Iran’s Rouhani defends economic record ahead of election

TEHRAN - Agence France-Presse
Iran’s Rouhani defends economic record ahead of election

AFP photo

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani defended his economic record in a press conference on April 10 but stopped short of formally announcing his candidacy for next month’s presidential election.

Rouhani rejected criticism from conservatives over his economic performance, saying he had overseen measurable improvements in agriculture, health care, energy and internet coverage.

He also focused on his key achievement, a nuclear deal with world powers that ended some sanctions in return for curbs on Iran’s atomic program.

“In every aspect that you consider, figures tell us that after the (nuclear deal), there is more space for movement and progress,” he said.

Pointing to deals signed by Iranian airlines to buy planes from Airbus and Boeing, he said the some $4 billion (3.8 billion euros) that Iranians spend on tickets to fly abroad would now go to domestic carriers.

Rouhani is expected to run for a second term on May 19, but said this press conference was “not about elections.”

“We need to wait two or three more days,” he said.

Hopefuls in the election have from April 11 until late April 15 to register their candidacy.

Rouhani slams US for sanctions

Rouhani also slammed the United States for imposing sanctions on Iran and attacking an airbase in Syria, a key Iranian ally, following a suspected chemical attack last week.

During his first month in office, U.S. President Donald Trump imposed fresh sanctions targeting Iran’s ballistic missile program.

Rouhani said America had “never acted within international frameworks”.

“One instance is the sanctions it has imposed on Iran, unreasonably seeing itself as the leader of the world,” he said.