Outgoing President Hassan Rouhani apologized to Iranians for their suffering during his eight years in office. “If we had any shortcoming and flaws, we ask people’s forgiveness and mercy,” he said during his last cabinet meeting on August 1. Rouhani said that his administration would have been more successful if President Donald Trump had not withdrawn from the 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed economic sanctions on Iran in 2018. Rouhani also cited the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and a prolonged drought as key obstacles.
Rouhani admitted that he “did not tell part of the truth” to the public for the sake of preserving national unity. But he did not elaborate. The following are excerpted remarks.
President Hassan Rouhani
“We told people the truth, of course we did not tell people part of the truth and in my opinion, we could not tell them because I did not find them useful and I was afraid that a very lofty goal that we should all pursue, which is national unity, would be harmed.”
“We endured many issues and did not respond to many criticisms in order to maintain national cohesion and national unity in the country.”
“In the first four years, we had better conditions in terms of domestic, international, social capital, people's hope for the future. The second four years the situation was slightly different.”
“In the first 4 years, we were in the era of interaction with the world, and we were completely confident that we are on the other side of the table for negotiation with world powers, and I had no doubt that we would not fail in negotiations with the world, and you saw that with powerful diplomats and lawyers, we achieved victory in critical moments, and you saw the effects of these victories.”
“In the difficult conditions of sanctions and economic war, we banned the import of 2,500 types of goods, including cars, and the result of this import ban was the high price of these goods.”
“If we had any shortcoming and flaws, we ask people’s forgiveness and mercy.”
“These achievements are undeniable and will remain in the history of the country.”
“If one wants to judge this government, they should consider the economic war, COVID-19 and the drought.”
“I apologize to the people of Iran for their suffering and thank them for their victories.”
“The achievements of this government are because of the great Iranian nation and the guidelines of the Supreme Leader.”
“I wished to equip the Army and the IRGC with the most modern weapons, and the Minister of Defense and the Armed Forces’ Logistics can testify that I was pursuing this very closely.”
“According to the framework set by the Supreme Leader, we could have implemented the JCPOA and lifted the sanctions, but we were stopped somewhere else.”