Mr. Rouhani was a major speaker on Tuesday morning on a ceremony held annually to honor National University Student Day (December 7 1953, falling December 6 2016). The day was when President Richard Nixon of the US was visiting Tehran to which students in the University of Tehran protested. Police shot fires and 3 students were killed. Since then, the day had been an occasion to mark the students’ role in political life of the nation.
Mr. Rouhani believed that his government had been working to bring economic woes to a relief when his negotiators succeeded to hit a deal in long nuclear negotiations. Rouhani has relied heavily on the modest success of his cabinet in addressing the economic problems; this time again, he reminded the students as well as the officials that Iran was experiencing economic difficulties before JCPOA and that it would not sell oil safely and receive the money. Now however, Mr. Rouhani was rejoicing to say, “we have been now a position to sell our oil; economic sanctions have subsided in their biting of the economy and most importantly, we have secured some nuclear achievements for ourselves otherwise we could not have if there was any JCPOA,” he told the crowd.
Mr. Rouhani however was not alone in all these achievements; he extended gratitude to students, all political parties, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, and the public for considerable degree of equanimity and the courage and spirit they instilled in the nuclear negotiators in so great a task as nuclear negotiations. “A unanimity of all was effective in advancing the talks and opened broad highways for us in the government; we also are indebted to the universities and seminary schools; no valuable asset would emulate that of the public trust; if you inspire hope among the public for the future, the asset will be protected; our asset is our people’s trust upon the Establishment," he emphasized.
No less important was recent US Congress extending of Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) widely believed in Iran to be violation of the spirit of the JCPOA, which Rouhani touched critically, but believed that all would give hands in preventing the US to undermine the JCPOA so dear to his cabinet and the nation as well and on which hopes of many were invested; “no time for haste; a president in the White House will be newcomer and his plans will come to the public; we will be prepared for any scenario directed by the US administration under Trump. He will be not in a place to exert any impact on our strong will and perseverance. He will face the rage of a nation if he chooses the wrong way of ignoring the JCPOA,” he said.
“We should improve our tolerance; in the face of difference of tastes and opinions, the sole converging element should be our ideals and attainment of the lofty objectives of the nation as well as of the Leader, who had frequently recommended to be a true ‘revolutionary,’ an attribute which brought us success in the Revolution; nor we could be successful in nuclear negotiation if the nation abandoned us,” Rouhani told students.
“Any violation of JCPOA will have no effect on our programs at home; now we have, in terms of enrichment, IR8 centrifuges; sanctions regime has fallen apart, Iran now can sell its oil to whomever it wills; we will not be the party to lose, but they will be so; in the past, OPEC would shun us with even the least demand; now however, we mange OPEC to have them to agree to our demands and have an upper-hand,” Rouhani added. “We now work with many smaller banks all around the world and the heavy hand of sanctions no longer impede much of the transaction we have with the financial systems; with all that in mind, I have no doubt that the US is an enemy state, but with some of the 5+1 we have friendly ties and do trade with them; and will appear behind a single strong response prepared by all effective forces inside the country to counteract the ISA extension.”
Rouhani’s last point was to call all, including students, to criticize the government, albeit in more favorable and mild terms, which would be accepted; “to criticize is a right for all including students; all other branches should also spare no criticism of the government; in the path to advance to more sublime levels, students should solve many problems in science and technology, which puts them in top shelves of the social strata; as such they have a legitimate right to criticize and hold the government responsible,” he recommended.