Despite Criticism, Rouhani calls for more Int’l Deals

By Arash Karami, for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iran Business News.

After facing weeks of criticism over the lack of tangible economic results from Iran’s nuclear deal with six world powers, President Hassan Rouhani is undeterred. At an April 7 ceremony on nuclear technology, Rouhani praised the nuclear deal and warned, “The opportunity that the comprehensive nuclear deal brought about for us is not permanent and everlasting.”

He continued, “Just as the clouds over our heads will not remain forever and will pass, all the opportunities are the same.” Referring to the nuclear deal — the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — by its Persian acronym, Barjam, Rouhani said, “The Barjam is a great opportunity for the nation in acquiring technology, for economic issues and in cooperating with the world and attracting investment.”

Addressing domestic opponents of the administration, Rouhani said, “If, God forbid, a limited number of people were successful and did not allow us to make use of these opportunities, these opportunities will not come back.”

Rouhani has been touting the idea of more Barjams, essentially large and comprehensive domestic agreements to address fundamental changes in the country. Many officials have answered back that the benefits of the first agreement, the nuclear deal, have failed to materialize and therefore talks of more agreements are premature.

During an April 6 speech, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appeared to be attempting to lessen the pressure on the administration in pursuing economic reforms by implementing the “resistance economy.”

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