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Rouhani Flirts with Iranian Revolutionary Guards | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during press conference in Iran on Monday. (Reuters)

London – In the third day following his reelection for a second term, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was quick to defuse tension between him and the Revolutionary Guards when he defended the forces’ development of advanced ballistic missiles, an issued he had previously opposed.

During his presidential campaign early this month, Rouhani criticized the Guards for “showing pictures of underground ballistic missile sites and writing anti-Israel slogans on them, while the JCPOA nuclear deal had entered into effect in January 2016.”

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Rouhani spoke with a softer tone with Iran’s Guards. He said that the production of Iran’s ballistic missiles “was for peace and for defense,” and “to avoid that some parties in the region make false equations.”

The president said Iranians love the armed forces, but they opposed its transformation “from a national apparatus into a party apparatus.”

Rouhani also tried to take the middle ground when he retracted his “discontent” from the missiles program.

He said: “American officials should know that whenever we need to technically test a missile, we will do so and will not wait for their permission. We have accepted the nuclear agreement and Resolution 2231 in order not to lose our defense force.”

As part of his attack on the Riyadh Summit held last weekend, Rouhani said that his country would continue to play an “advisory” role in Iran and Iraqi and said regional stability could not be achieved in the Middle East “without Tehran’s help.”

Rouhani said the Iranian people “voted for moderation as they know a prosperous economy can be achieved and jobs can be created through investment.”

He added that the presidential elections proved that no political movement or wing could be excluded from the country.