President Hassan Rouhani and his Cabinet members visit the mausoleum of Imam Khomeini in southern Tehran on Jan. 30.
President Hassan Rouhani and his Cabinet members visit the mausoleum of Imam Khomeini in southern Tehran on Jan. 30.

Int’l Engagement Will Help Uphold Nat’l Interests

Rouhani said Iranians neither idolize nor fear outsiders, and will use constructive interaction with the world to advance national interests

Int’l Engagement Will Help Uphold Nat’l Interests

President Hassan Rouhani renewed a pledge to promote national interests by tapping into the scope for deepening international engagement in the wake of the nuclear deal, despite resistance from his conservative critics.
"We are Muslim and revolutionary Iranians. We neither idolize nor fear outsiders and will use constructive interaction with the world to advance public and national interests," Rouhani was quoted as saying by IRNA on Monday.
He proclaimed the pledge at the mausoleum of the late founder of Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, south of Tehran in a ceremony to renew allegiance to his ideals.
Rouhani championed the 2015 landmark agreement with major powers, which raised the prospect of a major economic upturn by ending years of sanctions on key sectors of Iran's economy in return for curtailing its nuclear program.
His plans for an economic opening and free trade, however, have been complicated by opposition from rival conservatives who fear it would give hostile western governments the long-awaited opportunity to make inroads into the country and advance their subversive agenda.
Rouhani pushed back against this skepticism, saying, "Independence does not mean isolation. Independence means lack of dominance by outsiders over the country's fate."
Conservatives have largely opposed the accord for giving too many concessions to the West and failing to safeguard national interests.
The deal, widely viewed as Rouhani's top foreign policy achievement, has also been criticized for not having delivered the expected dividends, which Rouhani's opponents blame on the remaining US sanctions and its hostile legislative stance.
Non-nuclear US sanctions ban international firms and banks from clearing dollar-based deals with Iranians through Washington's financial system.
Republicans who control the US Congress have introduced several anti-Iran bills to interfere with the implementation of the pact.
And on top of it all, under the influence of the Israeli lobby in the US, the new US President Donald Trump has railed against the international agreement and vowed to renegotiate it.

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