Cabinet Convenes Last Meeting Under Rouhani

Rouhani said his administration would have carried on with its course of achievements if a full-scale economic war had not been imposed by the US
Cabinet Convenes Last Meeting Under Rouhani
Cabinet Convenes Last Meeting Under Rouhani

The Iranian government on Sunday held its final Cabinet meeting headed by outgoing President Hassan Rouhani, who presented a review of his administration’s performance over two terms. 
“If anyone is to judge the government, they have to see sanctions, the coronavirus outbreak and drought altogether before judging,” he was quoted as saying by
He said his team tried to minimize its shortcomings, but apologizes to the people for any defect.  
The president noted that the country’s conditions were not the same in both his terms and his government faced a full-scale economic war in the second four years. 
Soon after taking office in 2013, Rouhani’s administration managed to conclude negotiations with the world over its peaceful nuclear program which culminated in the signing of a deal in 2015, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. 
The agreement saw the lifting of international sanctions on Tehran in return for curbs on its nuclear program which gave a major boost to the country’s economy.  
Rouhani said Iran was in a period of interaction with the world over the first four years of his presidency.  
“Reduced inflation and increased economic growth, employment and investment after [the signing of JCPOA on] July 14, 2015, stand as testimony that we recorded victory in negotiations with the major world powers,” he said.



Imposed War 

This did not last long, as the United States’ next president Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the deal and reimposed even tougher sanctions on Tehran as part of a “maximum pressure campaign” to force the Islamic Republic to give more concessions under a “better deal”. 
“If there wasn’t an imposed economic war, we would have carried on with the course of achievements,” Rouhani said.
The blanket ban on oil exports and banking relations led to a sharp rise in the price of imported goods and reduction of foreign exchange income, according to the president. 
This situation, he said, naturally puts the people under pressure and compels the government to shift focus on the supply of basic goods.
“It is noteworthy that during the economic war, the government did not carry out a policy of rationing which is usual at war times,” he said, adding that goods were abundantly provided over three and a half years.
Although the prices were out of the government’s control, his administration also did its utmost to push them down by allocating subsidized foreign exchange, he explained.  
Despite this war, Rouhani said, the government did not abandon development plans either and continued to run projects in sectors such as oil refinement, dam construction, water transfer, wastewater treatment, petrochemicals and railways.  
There were, however, other major development plans, according to the president, which his administration could not implement as a result of the restrictions caused by US sanctions, including the introduction of high-speed trains, renovation of transport system and modernization of the country’s defense equipment. 
Negotiations to lift sanctions and restore the JCPOA also started during Rouhani’s term, but failed to reach a conclusion before the end of his time in office. 
Indirect talks between Iran and the US initiated in Vienna, Austria, in April to see if both sides can agree to resume full compliance with the nuclear deal.  
Rouhani’s negotiating team made great progress over six rounds of talks, but the process was halted and postponed until the new Iranian president, Ebrahim Raeisi, is officially sworn in.
“We could have removed sanctions, but we faced a challenge elsewhere,” Rouhani said, without giving details. 

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