Senate panel OKs new sanctions on Iran; nuclear deal remains

The Iranian leader, who was recently re-elected to serve a second term, also slammed a multibillion-dollar arms deal signed between the USA and Saudi Arabia during the visit, arguing that this would not solve the problem either.

Rouhani decisively won a presidential election on Friday, securing another four-year term. Iranian-backed forces have been fighting Islamic State militants in Iraq and support the government of President Bashar Assad in its battle against Sunni fighters in Syria.

Mr Qassemi added that the USA and its allies "should know that Iran is a democratic, stable and powerful country" and that it promotes "peace, good neighbourliness, and the creation of a world opposed to violence and extremism". "We will continue to further develop our missile capabilities forcefully", Hajizadeh said.

Last week, the people of Iran chose to continue along the path toward openness. The lethargic pace of the development of the Chabahar Port has to be speeded up. The vote served as a referendum on Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, as well as a vote of confidence that his government will be able to help the country's sputtering economy.

"The Trump administration has made clear that at least until this review is completed, we will adhere to the JCPOA and will ensure that Iran is held strictly accountable to its requirements", the official added.

"Iran has been battling with terrorism for around 40 years".

Although the first such deals have yet to be signed, a number of large oil companies that left Iran over sanctions - including Total, Shell, Repsol, Maersk and Statoil from Europe and Inpex from Japan - have all expressed high levels of interest in participating in deals to develop large Iranian oil and gas fields. No doubt part of his favor is owing to the improvement he brought about to the economy in his first term, a main chapter of which was the lifting of global sanctions through a deal with world powers.

Noting that Trump made his first trip to a foreign country as president to a nation which is known for supporting terrorism, Shamkhani stressed that Iran itself is a victim of terrorism. "All of these are going to put him on a confrontation path if not a collision course with the conservatives", he said.

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Ultimate power in Iran rests not with the president but with the supreme leader, who is chosen by a clerical panel and has the final say over all matters of state.

Khamenei pointedly did not congratulate Rouhani on his win.

The only way to peace in the Middle East is a pull-out of the USA forces from the region, Jazayeri said.

When asked how he forsaw his country's relations with the US, Rouhani said he hoped the Trump administration would "settle down" and try to understand his nation better.

President Trump's speech was written by Westerners, delivered by a westerner and based on a faulty western premise, namely, that radical Muslims can be persuaded to abandon their goal of establishing a worldwide caliphate. Islam is the state religion, and the puritanical Wahhabi Islamic movement that dominates Saudi Arabia controls many aspects of life.

He went on to refer to trilateral interaction between Iran, Turkey and Russian Federation to maintain the UN-led cease-fire in Syria and said: "Some countries' activities, such as those of the new U.S. administration and Saudi Arabia, complicate the issues in the region".

"That's what we hope this election will bring".

His wide-margin victory over a hard-line rival shows a majority of Iranian voters prefer his promises of greater liberalization at home and deeper engagement with the world. Trump has described the JCPOA as the "worst deal ever".