Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has suggested that outstanding social, cultural, and foreign policy issues in the country can be decided through referendum.
Addressing a sizable audience of students and the youth from all walks of life, Rouhani said Monday that the Islamic Republic had proven time and again in the past that it had the democratic means to decide everything by popular vote.
“No one should say that we are casting our votes but problems aren’t being solved, of course they don’t go away completely but we can move further ahead with every step,” he said. “We must use the potential of our Constitution,” he said, referring to Article 59 of Iran’s Constitution.
The article, titled “Mandatory Referendum” states that extremely important “economic, political, social, and cultural” matters could be decided by the way of a referendum.
The request for a referendum needs to be approved by a two-third majority in the Iranian parliament, the article adds.
Rouhani further noted that “our Constitution has full potential. Our nation is thriving and our youth are educated and brave.”
“We must be brave, shall not fear, stick together and support each other. Only then we will save the country,” the president added.
He also defended his government’s performance over the past six years, naming the 2015 nuclear deal as an outstanding feat of foreign policy which annulled a number of anti-Iran resolutions at the United Nations Security Council.
Rouhani said Iran had made great strides over the past two years despite a campaign of maximum pressure by the United States and its allies, something he said wouldn’t have happened without direct support from the nation.
“We are the same nation who, thanks to the active presence of the well-educated individuals as diplomats, was able to break free from the hard, suffocating circle the enemies had created,” the president continued.