Iran’s Rouhani begs pardon for difficulties that Iranians faced during his term

In his final cabinet meeting held last Sunday, Iran’s outgoing President Hassan Rouhani appealed for mercy from the Iranians for the difficulties that they suffered during his eight-year administration.

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On Sunday, Iran’s outgoing President Hassan Rouhani gathered his cabinet for the last time before handing presidential duties over to President-elect Ebrahim Raisi. Speaking at the meeting, Rouhani apologized to Iranian citizens for the difficulties that they suffered during his eight-year administration.

In the meeting, Rouhani also admitted that his government did not reveal the truth clearly due to the fact that he abstained from “harming national unity.” While he did not give further details on the issue, Rouhani said, “What we told people was not contrary to reality, but we did not tell them part of the truth.”

The outgoing President also touched upon the stalled Vienna talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal. Stating that his government could have reached an agreement to restore the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and halt the US sanctions, Rouhani blamed hardliners inside the country for his government’s failure to finalize the negotiations.

Similar statements were made by Foreign Minister Javad Zarif as well. Speaking to a group of reporters following the cabinet meeting, Iran’s outgoing top diplomat Zarif said, “If the JCPOA was not in the interest of Iran, today the US would not set conditions for the continuation of the deal.”

Both statements by Rouhani and Zarif came after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s latest remarks made during the cabinet meeting held on July 28. In his final meeting with the outgoing administration, the Supreme Leader said, “One of the most important experiences that have been achieved in Rouhani’s presidency is the need to distrust the West, which must be practiced by future generations.”

Additionally, Rouhani acknowledged that Israel captured Iran’s nuclear files through an operation carried out by Mossad. While he did not comment on the authenticity of stolen documents, Rouhani said, “The secrets that Israel came and took from inside the country were published and showed to former US president Trump to abandon the nuclear agreement.”

President-elect Ebrahim Raisi will take an oath in a ceremony that will be held on August 3, marking the end of Rouhani’s eight-year administration. Supreme Leader Khamenei is expected to attend the ceremony and give a speech.

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