President Hassan Rouhani's First Press Conference: U.S. Led Sanctions Against Iran are Aimed at Exerting Pressure on the Iranian Nation

August 6, 2013

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

“You must know that the objective of sanctions - contrary to what those who have imposed the sanctions claim - is to put pressure on different groups of people,” Dr.Rouhani said in Tuesday in his first press conference since he took office on Sunday. 

“When we are facing numerous problems for meeting our basic needs, even wheat for people, and in financial transactions … it is clear that the objective of these sanctions is neither nuclear nor missile programs, but putting pressure on people’s livelihood,” he added.

Dr.Rouhani noted that the sanctions imposed on Iran over its nuclear energy program could never bring a halt to Iran’s “nuclear and missile activities.” 

The Iranian president also pledged to do his utmost to counter the bans. 

“…We will not hesitate to get the sanctions lifted and we will exhaust our potentials to that effect,” he said. 

“We will open serious talks with foreign parties and will prove that we are serious in the negotiations. But we will not twiddle our thumbs [and wait] for the foreign party to respond affirmatively or negatively,” he stated. 

President Hassan Rouhani says the Islamic Republic is closely monitoring all measures taken by the United States and will respond properly to Washington’s “practical and constructive” moves. 

President said that Iran needs construction of nuclear power plants to produce 20,000 megawatts electricity.

He made the remarks in response to a question by RIA Novosti correspondent in the press conference. 

Asked whether Tehran is ready for cooperation with Russia to build Bushehr power plant II and III, Dr.Rouhani said that Tehran has thought about constructing other nuclear power plants before completing Bushehr plant. 

We need nuclear power plants to meet the demand for 20,000 megawatts of electricity, he said. 

President Hassan Rouhani denounced civil war, presence of terrorists and foreign intervention in Syria.

Dr.Rouhani ruled out military solution to Syria crisis and said the only possible choice to end the crisis is through political means. 

He said all terrorists coming to Syria from abroad should be expelled. 

The key to Syria problem is talks among all Syrian groups and the government in order to find a solution favored by the public, he said. 

President underlined that Syrian-Syrian dialogue is the only way to resolving the crisis in the Muslim country.

“The solution to Syrian crisis is negotiation between all Syrian groups on the one side and the Damascus government on the other,” said Dr.Rouhani. 

He noted that Iran condemns the presence of foreign-backed terrorists in Syria, reiterating that bloodshed in the Arab country must immediately come to a halt. 

“Of course the regional countries, including Iran and Turkey, can expedite the restoration of peace and tranquility to Syria,” the Iranian president added. 

Dr.Rouhani further noted that foreign countries should not send weapons to Syria and encourage the terrorists to fight against the central government.

President said:“What is important for us is the US administration’s practical response and not statements.” 

He added that the Iranian nation’s vote in the June 14 presidential election was a “very serious and meaningful” measure, stressing that the US officials have not given an appropriate and practical response deserving the Iranian people’s choice. 

In response to the White House statement about the US readiness to work with Iran on the nuclear energy program in case of Tehran’s serious engagement, the Iranian president stated that Washington is pursuing “contradictory” approaches. 

“The recent statement by the White House makes it clear that certain US officials do not have an accurate and complete understanding of our country’s facts, recent election and the Iranian nation’s message,” president Rouhani stated.

He urged the US to hear the Iranian nation’s message, saying “If we see that the US is serious in resolving the problems, we will also be serious.” 

President Rouhani expressed regret that the “warmongering group” in the US opposes constructive talks and is serving the interests of a certain country. 

Dr.Rouhani stated that his administration will firmly safeguard the Iranian nation’s rights through constructive interaction in future negotiations. 

“If there are practical and constructive measures, the Iranian administration will definitely give responses similarly and accordingly,” the president pointed out.

President Rouhani also voiced the Islamic Republic’s readiness to hold talks with any country within the framework of Iran’s national interests. 

He recommended White House officials to make decisions in accordance with the realities. 

President Hassan Rouhani has reaffirmed Tehran’s determination to pursue a “win-win” approach to finding a solution to Iran’s nuclear issue. 

“We are prepared to enter serious and meaningful negotiations with determination and without wasting time, and if our opposing party is equally ready, I am confident that the concerns of both sides will be allayed through dialogue,” the president stated.

“In general, I am not pessimistic about the prospect of [future] talks [over Iran’s nuclear issue],” he said. 

Dr.Rouhani was alluding to negotiations that Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers are planning to hold in the future. The group comprises the United States, Britain, France, Russia, and China plus Germany. 

President underscored the importance of dialogue as the “sole solution” and noted, “If anyone thinks that they can impose their will on the Iranian nation through intimidation, they are making a grave mistake.” 

He added that the United States will gain nothing from its “dual approach” vis-à-vis Iran. 

“If the US acts based on goodwill and mutual respect … the way will be open for interaction,” Dr.Rouhani noted.