Rouhani: Iran needs no one's permission to build missile

The race to be Iran's next president kicks off

The race to be Iran's next president kicks off

The rather bold statement was issued during an interview the former Iranian leader gave to the Associated Press (AP), in which he was asked whether he views America's recent airstrike on Syria as a warning to his own country.

Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claims the US military's strike on Syria would have happened regardless of who the president was, and says Donald Trump is simply carrying out the wishes of the real people in power.

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani applied on Friday for candidacy for the May 19 presidential elections, Iranian Tasnim news agency reports. Thirty women registered on the first day alone, but they are blocked from running on constitutional grounds.President Rouhani's time in office has often been marred by conflicts with hardliners who opposed his policies.

Many Iranians have grown impatient with the slow rate of improvement in their economic fortunes since the lifting of sanctions after Iran curbed its disputed nuclear activity under its deal with world powers.

"The conversation that he had... with Ayatollah Khamenei was really to be taken as a personal advice and a personal opinion of the leadership rather than an order", she said during Becker's Loud & Clear broadcast.

Ellie Geranmayeh, a senior policy fellow for the Middle East and North Africa program at the European Council for Foreign Relations, told Bloomberg that despite sanctions against Iran being lifted, "people are not seeing a huge elevation for Iran in terms of the economy or its place on the global stage".

Trump reverses himself on NATO, China, Russia and more
Even NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was surprised, as he had not expected such a clear commitment from Donald Trump. We agree that allies need to redouble their efforts to meet the pledge we all made in 2014 to invest more in our Alliance.

The 12 per cent jobless rate and slow trickle down of benefits from the nuclear deal are seen as Rouhani's weak spots.

Ardavan Amir-Aslani, a French-Iranian lawyer who advises European companies setting up in Iran, said he would be surprised if Rouhani does not win re-election despite the economic malaise.

Trump has criticised the nuclear deal and pledged during his election campaign to stop Iran's missile programme.

In this photo released by the Iranian Presidency Office, President Hassan Rouhani, left, speaks as he is accompanied by the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi on a visit to the Bushehr nuclear power plant. Iran has since resumed selling oil and signed deals worth billions of dollars to replace its aging commercial airline inventory.

General Salami stressed that the global arrogance, led by the U.S., should know that the great Iranian nation will never be under influence of any other power.

Some, like 26-year-old electrician Mahmoud Karegar, said Ahmadinejad should be allowed to run.

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