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Iran President Seeking Wartime Executive Powers to Deal with ‘Economic War’

Iran President Seeking Wartime Executive Powers to Deal with ‘Economic War’

Tuesday, 21 May, 2019 - 09:00
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. (Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is seeking expanded, wartime executive powers to better deal with an "economic war" sparked by the US administration's pullout from the nuclear deal and imposition of severe sanctions, reported the IRNA news agency.

Addressing a group of clerics, Rouhani cited the 1980s war with Iraq, when a wartime supreme council was able to bypass other branches to make decisions regarding the economy and the war.

The report did not say what the new powers would entail, but quoted Rouhani as saying that "today, we need such powers."

He revealed Iran is facing unprecedented problems in "banking and selling oil", but that the country "is united that we should resist the US and the sanctions."

In addition, he said he favors talks and diplomacy, but not under current conditions, state news agency IRNA reported.

"Today's situation is not suitable for talks and our choice is resistance only" it quoted him as saying.

US President Donald Trump said earlier on Monday that Iran would be met with "great force" if it attempted anything against US interests in the Middle East, adding that Tehran has been very hostile toward Washington.

Trump told reporters as he departed the White House for an event in Pennsylvania that he was willing to have talks with Iran "when they're ready."

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