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Iran: Rohani rules out resigning despite difficulties

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, whose political coalition appears threatened in the February 21 legislative elections, on Sunday ruled out his resignation before the end of his mandate in 2021, even though he said he had twice resigned by the past.

“A resignation would not make much sense,” Rohani said at a press conference in Tehran, adding that his government would “continue to fulfill (its) promises (despite) economic conditions and pressure from the enemy. ”

“The idea of ​​resigning (because of these problems) never occurred to me,” he insisted.

Rohani, elected in 2013 and re-elected in 2017, made the point after rumors that he intended to resign before the end of his second and last term.

The president nevertheless indicated that he had twice offered to resign to the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the first time between his first election and his assumption of office, and a second time during his second term.

In both cases, the president said, Khamenei firmly rejected the idea. Rohani said the supreme guide said, “I want you to continue to serve until the last minute, and I support the government.”

The second time, Khamenei said the president said he would not allow “the government to abandon its responsibilities even an hour” before the end of his mandate.

The coalition of moderates and reformers supporting Mr. Rohani appears in a bad position as the legislative elections on Friday approach, which could be marked by a strong abstention, supposed to benefit the conservatives and ultra-conservatives.

The Islamic Republic has plunged into a violent recession, from which it is struggling to get out, after the withdrawal in 2018 of the United States from the international Iranian nuclear agreement, concluded in 2015 – under the impetus of Mr. Rohani – between Tehran and the 5 + 1 group (China, United States, France, Great Britain, Russia and Germany).

Following the withdrawal, Washington – which accuses Tehran of seeking to acquire nuclear weapons, which Iran has always denied – reinstated the economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic that the United States had suspended under this agreement.

Strongly criticized on the domestic level for the failure of his policy of openness with the West, Mr. Rohani called before the press the Iranians “to go to the polls and to vote” on February 21 despite the invalidation of the candidacies thousands of moderates and reformers.

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