Amid increasing turmoil in the Middle East, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani says the Islamic Republic is making the world a safer place.
Rouhani spoke by phone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday, two days after Donald Trump withdrew the US from the July 2015 nuclear deal, and hours after Israel reportedly struck multiple Iranian positions inside Syria.
“Determined to achieve and maintain regional stability and security, Iran has always tried to de-escalate tensions in the region and under no condition does it welcome more tensions,” Rouhani said.
As examples of this “de-escalation”, Rouhani cited Iran’s support for Syria’s Assad regime, which has killed hundreds of thousdans of its people and displaced millions. He called the Iranian presence, which has propped up the regime since 2012, a “military advisory role”.
Rouhani also cited Iranian efforts in Iraq as stabilizing the country and the region: “The battle that Iran and the people of Iraq and Syria fought against Daesh [Islamic State] terrorists has brought relatively good levels of security to Syria and Iraq, and has benefitted the region and the world, including Europe.”
“Europe’s Time to Save Nuclear Deal Limited”
Rouhani pursued Iran’s campaign for Europe to detach itself from Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear agreement, not only with political measures but also financial, trade, and investment links which are vital to stem Iran’s worsening economic problems.
“Breaching and stamping on an agreement endorsed by a United Nations Security Council resolution will lead to damaging consequences on the world stage,” Rouhani told Merkel.
The President said on Tuesday, just after Trump’s announcement, that Iran will stay in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action if “other nations” — Germany, France, the UK, Russia, and China — do so. The Supreme Leader took a tougher line, calling for “a guarantee” from Germany, France, and Britain as “I don’t trust these three EU countries”.
Rouhani also spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, declaring:
Americans should know that they cannot easily withdraw from their international agreements and obligations without paying a price….Iran and Turkey will always stand by each other against illegal acts in the international community like two intimate brothers, and stand together in different situations.
Ankara is a key trade partner for Iran, and Rouhani emphasised the need for more business and investment ties by “using national currencies in trade and expanding preferential trade and the developing banking relations”.