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Rouhani Reaffirms JCPOA Merits
National

Rouhani Reaffirms JCPOA Merits

President Hassan Rouhani highlighted the benefits of last year's nuclear deal with major powers, chiding the accord's domestic critics and state media for waging propaganda campaigns that are "undermining Iran's political might".
"The great Iranian nation managed to have all the UN Security Council resolutions imposed under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter terminated," Rouhani was quoted as saying by ISNA.
"I must tell those people who think and claim that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action has proved to be useless that from political and legal perspectives, the action plan is a source of honor for the nation," he said, referring to the formal name of the accord.
The president made the statements in a public gathering in the province of Semnan on Wednesday.
He reminded that when his government took office in 2013, Iran was struggling with serious problems, including sanctions, high inflation and unemployment, had created bleak prospects for the domestic economy.
Rouhani championed the July 2015 pact that went into force about three months ago to provide sanctions relief in return for temporary curbs on Tehran's nuclear program.

***Unrelenting Criticism
However, his government has been subject to unrelenting criticism from his conservative rivals, who claim the agreement has conceded too much to the western states.
They also fear the opening of the economy to businesses abroad after the removal of sanctions could be exploited by hostile western states to make inroads into the country.
"It is okay to criticize the government and it is even sometimes necessary. But the Iranian nation never approves the propaganda campaigns spread [against the government] by the media … They are beneath the dignity of the great Iranian nation," he said.  
"I can't help but wonder how some are trying to reinforce the idea that it is the US that won [in the negotiations] and not the Iranian nation … that the Zionists, rather than the Iranian diplomats, were victorious. Where are your patriotism and religious pride?"
The JCPOA was a result of two years of negotiations.

***Collective Decision
Rouhani noted that the deal was a collective decision by the ruling system involving top authorities, calling on critics to drop unconstructive criticisms and help reap its benefits.
"Any criticism against the JCPOA should have been expressed before its announcement. Today is the time for the implementation of JCPOA, which has been approved by every [relevant authority,] including the Leader of the Islamic Revolution and the Supreme National Security Council," he said.
Rouhani stressed that this is not the time for criticism.

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