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Iranian president calls United States relations 'a curvy road'

26 May 2017

Trump's remarks were his latest salvo against Iran since starting his first foreign trip after taking office.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a press conference in Tehran on May 22, 2017.

Asked about Donald Trump's anti-Iran rhetoric, President Rouhani said Iran still waits to see the U.S. administration achieve stability and settle its policies for the future, so that Tehran could make a better judgement on Washington's government.

Answering a question about defending people's rights, especially in the field of nuclear negotiations, the President said: "If we succeeded in the field of nuclear negotiations, it was because the whole Iranian nation were behind the Supreme Leader, building up a national integrity and unity, helping the administration to use people's power in global stages".

Rouhani's efforts to open up Iran to less hostile relations with the West still have to be couched in the rhetoric of anti-Americanism that has been a pillar of Iranian rule since the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

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While the criticism has been welcomed by both Saudi Arabia and Israel (where Trump arrived on Monday), Trump has so far failed to renegotiate the nuclear deal, which he called "the worst deal".

Iran has always been at the forefront of combating terrorism and the image of Iran is totally clear to the world, he said, reiterating that Iran has never sought nuclear weapons as International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has on several occasions verified peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program. He also urged America's Arab allies to isolate Tehran "until the Iranian regime is willing to be a partner for peace".

Analysts fear tensions are growing out of control.

"Yesterday, you said "no" to all those that wanted to go back to the past and stop our current progress", Rouhani said, adding that voters had chosen "interaction witht the rest of the world based on mutual respect".

"Who in the region can claim that without Iran, stability will be maintained in the region?"

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"When they attacked Afghanistan, they made a mistake".

Is that a serious foreign policy, he asked, or is the U.S. "simply milking" Saudi Arabia for billions of dollars?

Tehran and Riyadh are involved in proxy wars across the region, backing opposite sides in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon.

The Sunni kingdom and Shiite power Iran haven't had diplomatic relations since early 2016. "Those who provide consultations or advice to the Americans, unfortunately, they are the rulers who either push America awry or with money, they just buy some people in America". It was Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Russian Federation.

Gulf Arab states expressed support for the deal, but also fears that the lifting of sanctions would enable Tehran to pursue destabilising policies in the Middle East.

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