Tehran: Amid disentangled deal with world powers and intensified tensions with the United States, Iran’s president has suggested that Islamic Republic could hold a referendum over the country’s nuclear program, Iranian media reported on Sunday.

Rouhani said he had previously suggested a referendum to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in 2004, when he was a senior nuclear negotiator.

Khamenei last week named Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif — relative moderates within Iran’s Shiite theocracy who had struck the nuclear deal — as failing to implement his orders over the accord, saying it had “numerous ambiguities and structural weaknesses” that could damage Iran, reported IRNA.

Iran has suffered years of severe international and US sanctions, which have greatly harmed its economy and impoverished the people.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Saturday a US decision to deploy 1,500 additional troops to the Middle East was “a threat to global peace and stability.”

President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the deal last year. In recent weeks, tensions between the US and Iran have risen over America deploying an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the region over a still-unexplained threat it perceives from Tehran.

Iraq on Sunday offered to mediate in the crisis between its two key allies, the United States and Iran, amid escalating Middle East tensions and as Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers steadily unravels.

Iraqi foreign minister, Mohammed al-Hakim, made the offer during a joint news conference in Baghdad with visiting Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.


This post was published on May 26, 2019