Rouhani: National Interest Best Served by JCPOA

Rouhani: National Interest Best Served by JCPOARouhani: National Interest Best Served by JCPOA

President Hassan Rouhani says mobilizing efforts to clinch the landmark nuclear deal with major powers was the easiest and quickest way to promote the interests of the country.

The president made the statement in Tehran on Saturday during a feast of Iftar to break the Ramadan fast with officials involved in the marathon nuclear negotiations that led to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the deal is formally known. The feast was also attended by the press corps, his website said.

The deal put an end to 12 years of dispute over Iran’s nuclear energy program, with western powers accusing Tehran of trying to secretly build nuclear bombs and the latter insisting its nuclear activities are peaceful.

Rouhani said Iran was dragged into the dispute with western powers who had indulged deeply in Iranophobia with the aim of convincing other members of the international community that Iran’s nuclear program was a threat.

  Strong Opponents   

“We tried to tell everyone that interaction with Iran is in the interest of all. Iran is not a threat and it does not seek atomic weapons,” he said.  

Rouhani said the JCPOA has strong opponents in the US, Europe and in some regional countries, “which unfortunately are mistakenly worried about Iran’s power,” and are trying to create obstacles in the way of implementing the deal.  The president said it is up to all supporters to help the country safeguard the historic agreement and benefit from the opportunities that have arisen from the lifting of international economic sanctions.

“Creating jobs, improving growth rates and exploiting oil and gas resources [shared with neighboring countries] are among the goals of [trying to seal] the JCPOA,” he said.

Rouhani hopes to capitalize on the momentum created in the absence of the punitive sanctions to push through his economic agenda by encouraging and attracting foreign investment and technology.

“We have no way but [to promote] unity. The mass media, government, Majlis and all supporters should come up with ideas on how we can use the post-JCPOA atmosphere to advance our interests.”

His remarks come amid mounting grievances in Tehran’s official circles and seasoned  analysts that the residual US sanctions, imposed over non-nuclear issues, namely terrorism and human rights allegations, are a major barrier stopping Tehran from fully accessing international markets, major banks and financial institutions.

Overseas firms and investors have steered clear of Iran’s market on fears of falling foul of US restrictions that ban the use of the US dollar and its financial system to clear transactions involving Iranian parties.