Outgoing President Hassan Rouhani (left) and President-elect Ebrahim Raisi meet in Tehran on June 23, 2021. (EPA-EFE)

August 3, 2021

In his final speech as the seventh president of Iran, outgoing President Hassan Rouhani fiercely defended the nuclear deal and his country’s foreign policy but warned against adopting a hardline approach.

Supreme leader Ali Khamenei will transfer power to president-elect Ebrahim Raisi on Tuesday. He will officially assume office on Thursday.

On the last day of his official duties as president, Rouhani and his aides participated in a farewell ceremony at the Iran International Conference Center with senior officials in his government.

“What I believed is needed to save the country in 2013 remains the same,” said Rouhani, explaining that “moderation and a constructive approach” were needed in dealing with both internal and external affairs.

He insisted on defending his approach and eight-year legacy in office, urging rival politicians to set aside their disputes and prioritize the country’s advancement.

“We must conclude that the hardline era is over,” he added, stressing that moderation was the best option.

Rouhani, a moderate, made his comments amid fierce criticism from rival conservatives and Revolutionary Guard media.

Conservatives blame him for Iran’s deteriorating economy and have repeatedly condemned his insistence on reviving the nuclear deal.

But Rouhani highlighted his administration’s success in lifting seven sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council, saying his team has always been hopeful about the results of constructive communication and dialogue.

Asharq Al-Awsat

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.