Rouhani vows to defeat ‘anti-Iranian’ officials in the White House

Iran will overcome newly reimposed US measures against Tehran, sanctions that will only serve to unify the nation, President Hassan Rouhani said. (File photo: Reuters)
Updated 28 August 2018
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Rouhani vows to defeat ‘anti-Iranian’ officials in the White House

  • “We are not afraid of America or the economic problems,” he said. “We will overcome the troubles”
  • Rouhani said his government would overcome the economic challenges and show “the anti-Iranian officials in the White House” that the sanctions would fail

LONDON: Iran will overcome newly reimposed U.S. measures against Tehran, President Hassan Rouhani told a parliamentary session on Tuesday, vowing that his government would defeat any Western plot against the Islamic Republic.
The parliament summoned Rouhani for the first time to answer questions on weak economic growth and rising unemployment, but Rouhani said the troubles only began when Washington reimposed sanctions on Tehran.
U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew in May from a deal that had lifted sanctions on Tehran in return for curbs on its nuclear programme.
Washington imposed a new round of sanctions in August targeting Iran’s trade in gold and other precious metals, its purchases of U.S. dollars and its car industry. A new round of sanctions to be imposed in November targets Iranian oil sales.
"I want to assure the Iranian nation that we will not allow the U.S. plot against the Islamic Republic to succeed," Rouhani said in a live broadcast on state television.
"We will not let this bunch of anti-Iranians in the White House be able to plot against us."
He added, "We are not afraid of America or the economic problems. We will overcome the troubles."
Rouhani, a pragmatist who reduced tension with the West by striking a nuclear deal with world powers in 2015, now faces a backlash from hardliners over Washington’s pullout from the pact.
Hardline elements in the parliament have pressed Rouhani to reshuffle his economic team to better shield the economy from Trump’s moves and tamp down public discontent.
Rouhani said the troubles began with anti-government protests in early January when many Iranians, angered by rising prices took to the streets, chanting slogans against the government and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
"The protests tempted Trump to withdraw from the nuclear deal," he said, asking lawmakers to support his cabinet and not add to anti-government sentiment.
Although the economic problems were critical, Rouhani said, "More important than that is that many people have lost their faith in the future of the Islamic Republic and are in doubt about its power."
Lawmakers asked why the government had not adopted reforms in the financial sector and foreign exchange market, and sought an explanation why, more than two years after the nuclear deal, Iranian banks still had only limited access to global financial services.
Rouhani appointed a new central bank governor and accepted the government spokesman’s resignation, suggesting that he accepts the need to reshuffle his economic team.


Egypt court upholds corruption conviction of Mubarak, sons

Updated 22 September 2018
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Egypt court upholds corruption conviction of Mubarak, sons

  • Saturday’s ruling by the Court of Cessation dashed any hope that Gamal Mubarak could run for public office.
  • Mubarak’s two sons are currently on trial for insider trading.

CAIRO: Egypt's highest appeals court on Saturday rejected a motion by former president Hosni Mubarak and his two sons to overturn their conviction on corruption charges.
The ruling by the Court of Cessation, Egypt's final recourse for appeals in criminal cases, dashed any hope that Gamal, Mubarak's younger son and one-time heir apparent, could run for public office. A senior newspaper editor and confidant of Egypt's current president had recently suggested that banker-turned-politician Gamal may have been contemplating the move.
The Mubarak trio was sentenced to three years each for embezzling funds meant for maintenance of presidential palaces but which they spent on upgrading or building private residences. The sons were released in 2015 for time served, while their father was freed last year. They repaid the funds, a total of 125 million pounds (about $7 million).
Mubarak's sons are currently on trial for insider trading. They are free on bail after a judge on Thursday overturned a surprise Sept. 15 ruling to detain them. The case's next hearing is on Oct. 20.
The rejection of their appeal Saturday and Gamal Mubarak's subsequent ineligibility to run for office came in the wake of recent comments by the chief editor of state-run Al-Akhbar publications, Yasser Rizq, who suggested that frequent public appearances by the younger Mubarak could be a prelude to a future presidential run.
Rizq first warned Gamal Mubarak against harboring presidential ambitions in an article published in May. He repeated the warning in a television interview aired earlier this week.
"His real crime is insulting the dignity of the Egyptian people," Rizq said, alluding to Gamal's one-time intention to succeed his father. It violated the constitution and amounted to the toppling of republican rule, he explained. He said it was not improbable that he would strike a political deal with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood to secure the group's return to politics in exchange for its support in a presidential bid in 2022, when President Abdel-Fattah El-Sissi's second term ends.
Preventing Gamal from succeeding his father was among the main drivers of a 2011 uprising that ended Mubarak's 29-year rule, as well as the military's support for it. The years that followed saw Mubarak regime heavyweights tried on corruption or abuse of power charges. Most have since walked free, while second-string regime loyalists found their way back to public life under El-Sissi.