Buoyed by nuclear deal, Iran’s Rouhani trumpets Third Way

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Rebutting criticism from hardliners in Iran, President Hassan Rouhani has re-affirmed his confidence in Iran’s deal with the P5+1 member countries. While it is speculated that he is eyeing a re-election in 2017, Mr Rouhani said the deal was a “third way” for Iran’s foreign policy. He criticised the hardliners’ interpretation that there were only two ways with the world, one is either submit to it or the other is defeat it. He added that there was a “third way” and which was the way Iran adopted by “constructive cooperation with the world in framework of national interests”.

“We worked with the United Nations without war or pleading or surrender, but with logic, negotiation and diplomacy in a legal path,” Mr Rouhani said, avoiding any direct mention of the United States or other Western powers. He also spoke about how his government brought down inflation and put Iran back on the path to economic growth, which is expected to pick pace once the sanctions are lifted by the beginning of 2016.

The hawks in Iran’s security establishment feared that the deal will weaken Iran and make it susceptible to military attacks from the West. Downplaying the threat, Mr Rouhani mentioned Iran’s defensive capability won’t be compromised at all and there was nothing to fear as Iran will not give away any military, commercial or national secrets away. From the West’s perspective, we were a threat to them yesterday and today we are a country with whom they wanted to strike a deal, said Rouhani.

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