Rouhani says Iran needs 'no one's permission' to build missiles

Violet Powell
April 17, 2017

According to the Iranian media, Raisi may become the main rival of the incumbent president Hassan Rouhani.

"Rouhani was elected primarily on the promise of elevating the economic position of Iranians", Ellie Geranmayeh, a senior policy fellow for the Middle East and North Africa program at the European Council for Foreign Relations, said before the president registered his candidacy.

"He has no experience in foreign policy, so at least initially he will have to follow the system's grand strategy of preserving the nuclear deal and shifting any blame of undermining it to the USA", said International Crisis Group Iran analyst Ali Vaez.

A bill to impose new sanctions on Iran over ballistic missile launches and other non-nuclear activities has been delayed in the US Senate due to concerns about the presidential election. Mohammad Hashemi Rafsanjani, the brother of late ex-president Ali Akkbar Hashemi Rafsanjani - who had been an ally of Rouhani - also registered.

Millions of people demanded a re-run, but the supreme leader insisted the result was valid and ordered a major crackdown on dissent that saw dozens of opposition supporters killed and thousands detained.

In light of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's firebrand reputation, he can be expected to reverse Rouhani's inroads with the worldwide community in the event that the former president reclaims his office.

There's been a lot of will-he-won't-he about the 55-year-old Tehran mayor this year, but he finally registered on Saturday for his third run at the presidency.

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In the meantime, Johnson teased that the movie goers will probably meet the Force-sensitive scavenger's parents in his new movie. Mark Hamill has claimed that it is "possible" that Luke Skywalker could turn to the dark side in the forthcoming Star Wars film.

Democracy and democratic elections are attainable by reference to the people's vote and respect to the law, he told reporters.

Influential cleric Ebrahim Raisi, the custodian of a powerful organization in charge of Iran's holiest shrine, appears to be the leading hardline candidate.

The five-day registration for the presidential election opened on April 11.

The clerical body will announce a final list of vetted candidates on 27 April.

Ahmadinejad's candidacy has left many inside Iran scratching their heads.

The hopefuls will have 20 days for electoral campaigns, ahead of the election day slated for May 19.

Despite Rouhani's claim that Iran's development of weapons is for strictly peaceful purposes, Israel and the U.S. have accused the Islamic Republic with arming a number of terror groups and Shiite militias in the region engaged in offense operations, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, the Houthis in Yemen and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

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