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Rouhani Renews Pledge to Deliver

Hassan Rouhani visits the mausoleum of the late Imam Khomeini in south Tehran on May 23.	Hassan Rouhani visits the mausoleum of the late Imam Khomeini in south Tehran on May 23.

President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday reaffirmed a pledge to carry out campaign promises he had made in 2013 as well as those before the Friday vote that handed him a landslide for a second term.

"We will make every effort to fulfill promises we made to the people," the president was quoted by his official website as saying.

He was addressing a ceremony at the mausoleum of the late Imam Khomeini, founder of the Islamic Republic, a day ahead of the 35th anniversary of the 1982 liberation of the strategic port city of Khorramshahr, two years after the outbreak of the war started former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Rouhani came to office in 2013 on a platform to kick-start an economy fraught with serious problems due to mismanagement and international economic sanctions.      

He reiterated those pledges in the run-up to the May 19 polls, saying his government is keen to push ahead with a moderate agenda to bring greater social freedoms and economic prosperity.

  Demands From Opponents

He fronted two years of difficult negotiations with the six major powers that led to a landmark nuclear deal in July 2015. Iran accepted time-bound restrictions on its nuclear program in exchange for the easing of economic sanctions.

Rouhani’s political opponents, who have been critical of the accord for allegedly conceding too much to the western powers, have piled pressure on him demanding he proof  the benefits of the agreement along with its promised economic recovery.

But the much hoped-for economic recovery has been slow in the wake of the sanctions relief because deals with western investors are few and far between as overseas firms and financial institutions have opted out of business fearing penalties from remaining US non-nuclear sanctions.

Rouhani’s push for broader engagement with the outside world has also met fierce opposition from his conservative critics, who never tire of cautioning against dealings with the West, noting that it could open the door to western inroads into the country.

 

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