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Rouhani Defends Nuclear Deal And Political Ally, Khatami -- 'Even Ten Trumps' Cannot Reverse Agreement

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (R), with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. File photo.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (R), with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. File photo.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was quoted as saying on Saturday that the nuclear deal with Western powers had “irreversible benefits” for his country and U.S. President Donald Trump can not undermine it.

Rouhani was apparently reacting to media reports indicating that President Trump may decertify the nuclear deal with his country.

“In the nuclear negotiations and agreement we achieved points and benefits that are not reversible. No one can reverse it, not Mr. Trump nor anyone else,” Rouhani said at a ceremony in Tehran University commemorating the beginning of the academic year.

“Even if ten other Trumps are created in the world, these are not reversible”, Rouhani added.

He said that following the nuclear agreement, Iran’s case at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that included questions about nuclear activities in the past had been closed.

Based on that, the Iranian President described the deal as a “diplomatic” and “moral victory” for Iran and said, “Iranian diplomats are so capable and powerful that they could reach a deal with six world powers, a deal that the other side says we have been cheated by it.”

But, Tehran did not agree with this assessment and considered the deal as a “win-win” agreement, Rouhani said.

However, most parts of President Rouhani’s speech was directed at his domestic opponents.

He criticized conservatives who question the nuclear deal and said, “If the United States violates [the deal] today, the whole world will condemn it.”

Respecting the agreement would not harm Iran and those who violate the agreement would harm their own reputation, Rouhani added.

In parts of his speech, Rouhani also criticized the new restrictions imposed on former President Mohammad Khatami.

Rouhani alleged that the restrictions are punishment for Khatami's active role in last May's elections, when the former president urge the people to go to the polls.

Iran's Special Clerical Court has tightened restrictions on former President Khatami, barring him from all public events for three months.

Khatami, who headed a reformist government between 1997 and 2005, has been banned from appearing in the media since mass anti-government protests followed the disputed 2009 presidential election.

The opposition Kalemeh website said on October 6 that the Special Clerical Court had sent Khatami a letter asking him "not to take part in any political ceremonies and publicity for three months."

On October 7, Khatami's lawyers confirmed the three- month ban by a special court, saying that the due process of law was not followed in issuing the order.

The ban is reported to include attending meetings, theater performances, and concerts. It also bars government officials and student union members from meeting with him.