President Hassan Rouhani defended Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers after it came under attack from conservatives at home, arguing on Thursday it reflected the nation’s will and was “more valuable” than carping over the details.
While many Iranians hope last week’s agreement will bring an end to sanctions and deliver prosperity, the elite Revolutionary Guards military force and conservative lawmakers have said it endangers the country’s security.
“This is a new page in history,” Rouhani said in a speech broadcast live on television, reiterating that the deal had launched a phase of reconciliation with the outside world.
Pinning his authority to the fate of the agreement, Rouhani added that this new era had not begun when it was reached in Vienna on July 14 but rather on Aug. 4, 2013, the day Iranians elected him to solve the nuclear dispute.
Chiding critics of the accord, Rouhani said he had noted some Iranian officials were “scrutinising one by one the terms of the deal” and a subsequent resolution endorsing it which the United Nations Security Council passed on Monday.
“That’s good but what has happened is more valuable and more significant than that,” he said.
“The agreement conveyed this message to the world: Never threaten an Iranian anymore. This agreement sent the message to the world that the most difficult and complex international issues can be resolved through negotiations. Iran’s path is a path of moderation.”
Many analysts see the chance of the Iranian leadership eventually rejecting the accord as small, since Tehran needs the lifting of sanctions to help its isolated economy.