Iranian Stances Vary on Rouhani’s Demands for More Powers

Thursday, 23 May, 2019 - 10:00
London - Asharq Al-Awsat

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani faced criticism after he renewed demands to reinforce his powers, while pro-government newspapers endorsed his call amid the increasing pressure by the US on Tehran.

Two weeks ago, the president criticized his limited influence in foreign policy and on Tuesday the IRNA news agency reported that he was 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

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei expressed his dissatisfaction with Rouhani and how his team handled the nuclear deal also known as JCPOA.

"I did not believe in the way the JCPOA was done, and I have made this clear to the president and the foreign minister on many occasions,” he said.

Referring to a letter he sent to Rouhani, Khamenei stated: "Read my letter regarding the JCPOA and the conditions set for its ratification. But, if these conditions were not met, it is not the Leader’s responsibility to intervene."

The government has been insisting on powers that allow it to form an operations room to confront the economic war.

Guardian Council Spokesman Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei tweeted that former presidents enjoyed wide powers according to the constitution, and currently Rouhani has more powers that can meet the country’s demands.

He also blamed former presidents for not using their full powers to resolve the issues of the country.

Reformist Mostafa Hashemi Taba said that the government powers are “below expectations”, adding that the situation in Iran today is more difficult than the time of war.

The Kayhan newspaper slammed Rouhani for demanding more powers, accusing him of failing to provide solutions to Iran’s economic woes even before the US pulled out of the nuclear deal.

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