President in 1st presser:

Iran not to wait for US permission to test ballistic missiles

News ID: 3986420 -
TEHRAN, May 23 (MNA) – Iran's newly-elected president Hassan Rouhani said on Monday that the country will continue its ballistic missile program despite criticism from US officials.

"The US leaders should know that whenever we need a missile test because of a technical aspect, we will test," Rouhani said in a news conference on Monday. "We will not wait for them and their permission."

President Rouhani appreciated people's historic turnout in the election among domestic and foreign media on Monday and described Iran's postions on regional and international issues. "With more than 42 million turnout, our people demonstrated an incomparable presence in Iran's history".

He added, "with the election, people told everyone, no faction, group, idea and school of thought could be eliminated to build Iran".

In the election, people said they are a united nation whose voices must be heard, he noted.

President Rouhani went on to say that no one has the right to drag Revolution in its own tent; "Leader belongs to the entire Iranian nation".

Answering a question about defending people's rights, especially in the field of nuclear negotiations, Rouhani said, "if we succeeded in the field of nuclear negotiations, it was because the whole Iranian nation was behind the Leader, building up a national integrity and unity, helping the administration to use people's power in international stages".

Dr. Rouhani also answered a question about his evaluation of the latest meeting between heads of some Arab countries and the US President Trump, in which Iran was accused of supporting terrorism; : "the assembly in Saudi Arabia, I believe, was a sham assembly without any political and practical vision. We have seen such shows from Saudi Arabia before".

Stressing that the scourge of terrorism cannot be resolved by holding meetings and giving a nation's money to a superpower, the president said it is the people of Syria, Iraq and Lebanon who have been able to stand against terrorism and Iranian nation, diplomats and military advisors will help them continue the path to achieve their goals".

"No one in the region can claim that stability will be maintained in the region without Iran? Noone can claim that full security will be established without Iran? It was the Syrians and Iraqis who fought the terrorists and Iran, Hezbollah and Russia were beside them. Those who are supporting terrorism cannot claim to be fighting it," President Rouhani added.

"I don't think the people of the United States would be willing to trade the blood they gave in 9/11 with billions of dollars of arms sale, surrendering to terrorists in the region. The US administration has never combatted terrorism but the US nation are against terrorists and seek its elimination".

On the administration's plans to fulfil its presidential promises, he said, "our aim is to eliminate absolute poverty by the end of the 12th administration which is based on expert opinions and what we presented to the Parliament."

On the possibility of direct talks between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States of America, President Rouhani said, "within the past 39 years, Iran and the US have travelled a twisty road with each other. Americans have used myriad of ways against Iran which were doomed to failure, but maybe they achieved a partial success in nuclear negotiations, which enjoyed a win-win result, and that was to the benefit of Iranian nation, the US, 5+1 and the whole world and if the US chooses another way, it will undoubtedly fail again".

He deplored Americans have always made mistakes with regard to our region; "when they attached Afghanistan and Iraq, when they imposed sanctions on Iran, when they raided Syria and Yemen, Americans do not know our region and the problem is that those who are advising the Americans are unfortunately either rulers who are misguiding the US, or buying people in the US. I hope that the US administration think about the interests of the American people, regardless of the fact that they are not thinking about the interests of other nations".

Answering a question on his plans to have good relations with Islamic countries and countries of the region and the world, President Rouhani said, "from the beginning of the 11th administration, we announced to the world that violence and extremism are great dangers to the region and we all are after a world against terrorism and extremism".

"Those who congregated in Saudi Arabia have reached the conclusion that they must create a centre for moderation and they chanted the same motto that Iran used in 2013. They have come to the conclusion that there is no way other than moderation," he continued.

"We fighted against terrorism and everybody saw that we helped all nations fighting terrorism. Iran has established peace and security in the region and we will continue the same path with more power in the new administration, he noted.

In response to a question on the latest arms deal between the US and Saudi Arabia, he said, "Saudi Arabia has spent several 100 million dollars for deals before. Maybe they think they need to buy arms but we do not need to buy them, we make arms. I believe that Saudi Arabia cannot use these weapons and they will eventually be forced to take US military advisors to the region".

People of Saudi Arabia are Iran's friends and we hope that the Saudi government chooses the right path, he said, adding "buying arms from others is not the right way to gain power, but rather the base of power is national which comes from people's turnout at the ballot boxes".

He also answered a question about the latest remarks by US Secretary of State on Iran's missile program and abandoning supporting resistance groups, which they call terrorist groups. "These are the dreams of enemies. The people of Iran will neither ask nor await for permission from anybody to use their defensive weapons. Our nation have decided to be powerful and mighty. Our weapons and missiles are for peace and if Iran does not have weapons, if we do not build missiles, there are some who will make mistakes again in their calculations like they did before when they drag the region into war".

"The American authorities must know that whenever we need to test-fire missiles for technical reasons, we certainly will do that and won't await for permission from them," president added.

Touching upon a question on Iran's plans to develop relations with Latin American countries, President Rouhani said, "in economic fields, we want to cooperate with all countries based on mutual interests. The region has valuable potentials, it enjoys great nations and ample talents and Iran will have plans for developing ties with them".

He also talked about recent developments in Venezuela, saying: "Some people being in favour and some against the government, is the case in all countries but it is the people who make the ultimate decision. This is all we are saying about Syria, Iraq and Yemen".

Our policy is interaction with the entire world for development, peace and stability, we have no way other than interaction with other countries, he said, if there is a problem between the US and the Islamic Republic, they are to blame; they started animosity with our nation and Revolution."

On Iran's relations with Azerbaijan, President Rouhani said, "Azerbaijan is considered Iran's good neighbour and we have had good relations with this country from the beginning of its independence. We have had several meetings with President Ilham Aliyev to promote bilateral and trilateral ties".

Iran-Azerbaijan-Russia tripartite meeting will keep on, said Rouhani adding, "in the field of transportation, we have a very important plan in which our railway will be connected to Azerbaijan through Astara and from there, to Russia, Georgia and European countries".

LR/PR

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