Iranian president calls US relations 'a curvy road'

Countering Trump's calls to isolate the Islamic Republic, Rouhani stressed that peace in the Middle East could not be achieved without Tehran's help. He said America is prepared to stand with them but the region can not wait for American power to crush the enemy. 'The central power of a nation is its national determination and this will manifest itself in its presence in the country's elections and in casting its votes at the polls, ' told the Persian ruler to more than 300 Iranian and foreign journalists accredited in this capital. Trump, meanwhile, has threatened to tear up the deal.

Iranian hardliners indignant at President Hassan Rouhani's re-election vowed yesterday to press their conservative agenda, with some saying his caustic campaign trail attacks on their candidate would bring a backlash. "Who can say the region will experience total stability without Iran?" he asked.

The election was seen by many as a verdict on Rouhani's policy of opening up Iran to the outside world, including the 2015 nuclear deal that won the country relief from global sanctions in exchange for limits on its contested nuclear programme.

It was a "theatrical gathering with no practical or political value", he said of Trump's stop in Saudi Arabia over the weekend, according to CNN. The missile launches have been condemned by the Trump administration and Israel.

Iran and the U.S. back opposing sides in the civil wars in Syria and Yemen, but they are both fighting the jihadist group Islamic State in Iraq.

"Unfortunately, under the hostile and aggressive policies of the American statesmen, we are witnessing a renewed strengthening of terrorist groups in the region and miscalculation of the dictatorships which support these groups", Qassemi said.

In a jibe at the billion-dollar deals signed between Trump and the Saudi government, he said: "You can't solve terrorism just by giving your people's money to a superpower".

He added that it was Iran's allies in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq that had been leading the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group and other militants.

That agreement alarmed the Saudis, who consider Iran their main rival for influence in the Middle East. Trump repeatedly denounced that agreement as a giveaway to Iran, but his administration is still abiding by its terms.

Many experts are skeptical that a president can effect a huge change in the country as he is subordinate to the supreme leader, who is chosen by a clerical panel and has veto power over all policies and control over the security forces. "We are waiting for the government to be well established so we can pass judgment", Rouhani said. "The U.S. leaders should know that whenever we need a missile test because of a technical aspect, we will test. When they imposed sanctions on us, they made a mistake", he said.

  • Joey Payne