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Rouhani Admits Not Fulfilling Promises But Blames US Sanctions

Iranian President Hassan Rohani meets with representatives of the country's petrochemical industry in Tehran, December 30, 2019

The Islamic Republic President Hassan Rouhani has responded to his critics who have accused him of not fulfilling his promises, saying Iran is at war.

"Some complain that the government has not been able to fulfill the promises that it made in the first term. However, we made those promises in conditions of peace, and then we entered a war that we did not start," Rouhani maintained.

Speaking on Monday, December 30, at the ceremony marking National Petrochemical Industry Day, President Hassan Rouhani accused his critics of "petty meddling," and issuing "useless orders."

Furthermore, Rouhani insisted that the tone and manner of his administration in the current year are the same as they were two years ago.

During his first presidential campaigns in 2013, Rouhani tabled 46 promises and vowed to address Iran's domestic and foreign problems within 100 days.

In the first months of his presidency, the University of Toronto in Canada launched the "Rouhani Meter" website to weigh his 100-Day promises. Nevertheless, Rouhani's government immediately blocked the website in Iran.

According to Rouhani Meter, most of the promises tabled by him have not been fulfilled, including removing the police state dominating the country's universities, decreasing inflation, improving the job market to reduce unemployment, and ending ethnic discrimination.

Highlighting Washington's sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic as an excuse for his broken promises, Rouhani reiterated, "Since the year 1397 (2018), the enemies have waged a fully-fledged economic war against Iran, in which they have so far been unsuccessful."

The contradiction in blaming U.S. sanctions for shortcomings and saying at the same time they are not effective, is often heard from Iranian officials. Another issue is unfulfilled promises that have little to do with the economy; such as preventing all sorts of illegal acts by police and security forces.

Moreover, he claimed without elaboration that Tehran did not start the "war," and even avoided making excuses for the enemies to begin a conflict.

Nonetheless, critics insist that Tehran's regional policies, such as "exporting revolution," and "eliminating Israel" has led to a confrontation between Iran and the U.S.

Rouhani also claimed that his administration has succeeded in controlling inflation.

"Being able to harness somehow the severe inflation that had begun since the end of last year means that the enemies have been unsuccessful in advancing their goals," Rouhanui maintained.

Nonetheless, the Statistical Center of Iran announced on December 22 that the annual inflation rate in the country has reached 40%.

Washington has repeatedly insisted that its sanctions imposed on Tehran are aimed at changing the Islamic Republic's behavior, and bringing it back to the negotiating table.

Iran has reiterated that under the current condition, it will never relent to a new round of talks with Washington.

Meanwhile, Brian Hook, the U.S. Special Representative for Iran and Senior Policy Advisor to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, says that the Islamic Republic's economy is collapsing, and soon Tehran will be forced to print more money to pay public servants.