EghtesadOnline: Iran has adopted a policy of resistance against the United States' pressure, but that does not mean that it has closed the door to negotiation, President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday.
Speaking on the occasion of National Students' Day (Dec. 7) at Farhangian University, Rouhani said negotiation is essential “if that leads the country toward victory”.
"The enemy is putting pressure on our people and the people will resist, but that does not mean if there is a way to foil the enemy's plot, we should not pursue it," he was quoted as saying by the presidential website.
Iran has been under stringent American sanctions since US President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal, arguing that it is defective and incomprehensive, Financial Tribune reported.
He started a "maximum pressure" campaign against Tehran to push for renegotiation over a new agreement that would cover all areas of western concern, including Iran's missile program and regional behavior.
Iran has refused to talk under pressure and has pursued "maximum resistance". It has also engaged in direct talks with the deal’s remaining signatories and key trade partners to offset the effects of sanctions.
At the same time, Tehran has announced that it is open to negotiation within the framework of P5+1 (five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany) provided that the sanctions are fully lifted.
"It is our legal and revolutionary duty to use any possible solution to address the existing issues," Rouhani said.
However, Iranian officials have not pinned hopes on a diplomatic solution with the US, making plans on the assumption that the sanctions will continue.
"Next year's budget does not rely on negotiation [with the US and the lifting of sanctions] at all and is based on the persistence of sanctions," the president added.
Brave, Critical Students
Rouhani later addressed the students, saying the country needs people who are brave enough to explicitly voice their criticism to those in authority.
"A student must use the power of eloquence to criticize those in power, otherwise, there is a chance of deviation in the authority," he said.
"I believe students must criticize bluntly, but have something worth saying," he added.
The president also pointed to the upcoming parliamentary election, calling on the public, especially students and academics, to actively participate.
"We must all … participate in the elections to choose better and more competent people and create a better future for the country," he said.
The academia, according to Rouhani, has a serious responsibility in this regard.
The 11th round of parliamentary elections will be held on Feb. 21, 2020, alongside the midterm election for the Assembly of Experts, a high-ranking clerical body empowered to appoint and dismiss the Leader of the Islamic Revolution and monitor his performance.