President Rouhani Stresses National Unity in Speech Boycotted by “Demagogues”

President Rouhani, renowned actor Ali Nasirian and actress Fatemeh Motamed Aria, and prominent novelist Mahmoud Dowlatabadi

Iran’s president says a united nation will finally emerge victorious in the face of problems and pressures.

Hassan Rouhani made the comment in a meeting at fast-breaking time with a group of artists, including stars of stage and screen, as well as cultural figures.
The ceremony turned into a controversial one after a number of celebrities, who had strongly supported Rouhani last year, declined an invitation to attend it over what they called Rouhani’s failure to fulfill his campaign promises and the dire economic conditions of Iranian people.

“All material powers are limited, except one power which is very strong and invincible,” Rouhani said.

“Anyone, in any capacity and position, has specific, certain and limited capabilities, but the power which can claim final and complete victory is a united and integrated nation, which will never suffer defeat,” President Rouhani noted.

“Although the president of a country and even the powerful army of a country may be defeated under certain circumstances, if a nation maintains its unity and solidarity and relies on resistance, it will never be defeated; of course, such a nation may pay a heavy price on its path, but a united and integrated nation will definitely emerge victorious,” President Rouhani underscored.

He then touched upon the resistance of the Iraqi nation against terrorism.

“If the Iraqi nation hadn’t stood up to the ISIS terror group, which knew nothing but superstition, violence, bloodshed and killing people, today ISIS terrorists would be in control of Iraq and would destroy not only worship and religious sites, but also all other possessions of this great nation,” the president noted.
“As a result of this resistance, the Iraqi nation is the great victor in the region today, and they held a glorious election the result of which bears witness to the Iraqi nation’s independence and resistance, a nation which showed it will not be swayed by super powers,” said the president.

Elsewhere in his remarks, president Rouhani touched upon the anti-Iran stances adopted by certain countries.

He said some superpowers as well as Middle East states are making inappropriate comments about Iran.

The president underlined that most countries, in the past, would say that Iran is not right, but the situation has changed today.

“Today, most countries, except a few, admit that Iran is right, and this is an honour that will go down in history for us,” he said.

President Rouhani also referred to the Iran nuclear deal as well as Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the agreement and its breach of commitments under the deal.

“We are a nation that respects its deal. In front of us is a government which has reneged on its agreement and signature,” said the president.

“The Iranian nation has remained committed to its obligations, is insisting on the rights it has secured, and will not cave in to unfair and unwarranted pressures which run counter to international regulations,” President Rouhani highlighted.

“If we don’t want to succumb to pressure, we should show the world that we are an integrated, united and brave nation, and we should opt for patience, resistance, solidarity, coordination and having one voice,” he noted.

He then noted that artists and cultural figures play a key role in urging members of society to have “one voice” under the current circumstances.
He then called for a collective effort and cooperation to solve the problems facing the society.

“All of us accept that we are facing numerous problems …. But the question is who should solve these problems. Can the president solve these problems alone? All of us should join hands to overcome problems,” President Rouhani said.

“If we believe that all of us together should solve the problems, then final victory will be ours,” he said.

Prior to the president’s speech, a number of renowned Iranian actors and actresses expressed their viewpoints about some of the current issues in the country and stressed the importance of art and culture in keeping people’s hope alive and easing pressure on them.

This came as some artists turned down the president’s invitation and refused to attend his fast-breaking feast.

According to some analysts, the artists who boycotted the president’s get-together were demagogues seeking to cash in on the situation. Analysts say the boycott was an ostensibly populist move which was ineffective and did not keep Silver Screen veterans as well as key cultural figures from attending the event.

Tehran University Professor and political analyst Sadeq Zibakalam also slammed the boycott, saying these days attacking the president is the least costly thing one can do in Iran.

   
   

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