Ay­a­tol­lah re­buffs Rouhani’s de­tente pol­icy

New Straits Times - - World -

LON­DON: Ira­ni­ans should not thank Has­san Rouhani’s pol­icy of de­tente with the West for any re­duc­tion in the threat of war, supreme leader Ay­a­tol­lah Ali Khamenei said on Sun­day, step­ping up his crit­i­cisms of the pres­i­dent as elec­tions ap­proach.

In com­ments that ap­peared to favour hard­line can­di­dates in the May 19 vote, Khamenei played down the ben­e­fits of Rouhani’s land­mark agree­ment to curb Iran’s nu­clear ac­tiv­i­ties in re­turn for a lift­ing of in­ter­na­tional sanc­tions.

“Since they took of­fice, some have said the shadow of war has faded away.

“This is not cor­rect. It’s been peo­ple’s pres­ence in the po­lit­i­cal scene that has re­moved the shadow of war from the coun­try,” Khamenei was quoted as say­ing by state me­dia.

Khamenei and his hard­line sup­port­ers have also crit­i­cised the nu­clear deal, which sti­fled talk by Wash­ing­ton of pos­si­ble mil­i­tary ac­tion against Iran, for failing to de­liver promised eco­nomic ben­e­fits.

But, speak­ing at the open­ing of a re­fin­ery that Iran said would make it self-suf­fi­cient in oil prod­ucts, Rouhani de­fended his po­si­tion.

“The nu­clear deal was a na­tional achieve­ment. We should make use of its ad­van­tages.

“But, some have started a fight over it,” Rouhani said.

He cited the new re­fin­ery, in the Gulf port city of Ban­dar Ab­bas, as a re­sult of the deal and “in­ter­ac­tion with the world”.

One of his main chal­lengers, Ebrahim Raisi, an in­flu­en­tial ulama with decades of ex­pe­ri­ence in the hard­line ju­di­ciary, said Iran did not need for­eign help to im­prove the econ­omy and could al­ways de­fend it­self.

“We should not warn our peo­ple of wars and crises. We have full se­cu­rity in the coun­try.

“This ap­proach, that we should wait for for­eign in­vest­ment and for for­eign­ers to re­solve our is­sues, is wrong.

“This is wrong, to wait years and years for for­eign in­vestors to come.

“We should re­solve is­sues by re­ly­ing on domestic ca­pa­bil­i­ties,” Raisi said. Reuters

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.