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Rouhani urges return to nuclear deal as Iran marks 1979 revolution anniversary

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani urges the West to restore the 2015 nuclear deal as the nation marks the anniversary of the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution — on wheels this time, rather than traditional rallies and marches, amid the worst COVID outbreak in the Middle East.

Rouhani says the “era of sanctions” is over and the agreement is the only way forward.

“There is no other way for the world and for the region,” Rouhani says during a televised speech in Tehran. “The only path is definitely the path of diplomacy. The only path is the world’s agreement with Iran. God willing, we will be successful in this path.”

Rouhani also says “God was the one who toppled” former President Donald Trump, who pulled the US out of the nuclear pact and imposed sanctions on Iran. He says Iranians who resisted Trump’s pressures also were effective in Trump’s overthrow.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks at a cabinet meeting in Tehran, Iran, January 27, 2021. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)

Trump lost the US November election to Democrat Joe Biden, who wants to revive the deal, but insists that Iran must first reverse parts of its nuclear program. That’s created a contest of wills between the nations. The 2015 atomic deal saw Iran agree to limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

On domestic issues, Rouhani urges a high turnout in the June presidential election that decides his successor. Traditionally, high turnout brings moderate presidents to office in Iran.

Meanwhile, waving Iranian flags, chanting “Death to America,” “Death to Israel” and obseerving the traditional ritual of burning US and Israeli flags, people in cars and on bikes commemorate the 42nd anniversary of the revolution that ousted the West-backed monarchy of king Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and brought Islamists to power.

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