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Rouhani Vows To Stay On As President Despite Pressures By Iran Hardliners

A handout photo made available by the presidential office shows Iranian President Hassan Rouhani wearing face mask during the cabinet meeting in Tehran, Iran, 08 July 2020.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani Wednesday implicitly rejected any talk of an early departure from his post, promising to remain as president “to the last moment” without paying attention to “controversies”.

Rouhani has been under pressure by the new Iranian parliament dominated by hardliners who hold him responsible for bad management of the economy and the failures of the nuclear deal with world powers.

Earlier in July, 130 members of the parliament threatened to launch proceedings to impeach Rouhani for his failures in the area of economy, foreign policy and tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. But on July 12, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in a video message to parliament urged lawmakers to let the presidential administration do its job.

Khamenei’s backing of Rouhani was a categoric signal to parliament to limit its rhetoric and as expected, later pronouncement by lawmakers have been generally conciliatory.

Rouhani who was speaking at his cabinet meeting said he “promises” the Supreme Leader that he will continue to discharge his duties “with all his power to the last hour and the last moment”. He also added that the pulpit of the parliament, the judiciary and the presidency should not be used “for partisan, factional and electoral conflicts”.

The Etemad newspaper in Tehran published a report on July 14 alleging that a verbal confrontation took place recently between Rouhani and the Speaker of Parliament Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf over who is responsible for economic affairs. Qalibaf rebuffed Rouhani over his weak management of the economy.