Reformists sweep Tehran municipal vote as Rouhani wins Iran

Iran and Azerbaijan enjoy good relations and coordination, said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who was re-elected in the May 19 presidential election.

In his congratulatory message to Rouhani, Sarkisian, as quoted by his press office, expressed confidence that during the Iranian president's tenure "the friendly neighborly Iran will continue to develop upward, bringing its considerable and important contribution to the establishment of regional peace and stability".

"We are waiting for this new USA government to be settled in terms of their stances, posture and future plans", Rouhani said.

The secretary of state also responded to questions about some of the president's troubles back home, including about Trump's disclosure of sensitive intelligence to Russian officials and his firing of former FBI Director James Comey.

Asked about Trump's summit with Arab leaders on Sunday, Rouhani said it was "just a show with no practical or political value of any kind". "Those who want real change. will once again - and most unfortunately - be stuck between a rock and a hard place", said Behnam Ben Taleblu, a senior Iran analyst at Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Iran has no credible political polling to serve as harder metrics for the street buzz around candidates, who need more than 50 percent of the vote to seal victory and avoid a runoff.

Trump has threatened to try to renegotiate the deal, which saw Iran accept curbs on its contested nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of some worldwide economic sanctions.

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The Iranian president championed a nuclear deal with the United States and five other major powers in 2015 that led to the lifting of most sanctions against Iran past year, in return for curbs on its nuclear programme. Iranian-backed forces have been fighting Islamic State militants in Iraq and support the government of President Bashar Assad in its battle against Sunni fighters in Syria.

They choose mayors and decide on budgets and development projects, as well as oversee local cultural and religious activities.

"It was not the central part of our conversations", Tillerson told reporters aboard Air Force One as the USA delegation flew from Saudi Arabia to Israel earlier Monday.

"But the price of regaining the confidence of Saudi Arabia and the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council is to portray Iran as a threat", Abidi added.

It is a "transactional deal" in which the Arab states would help Washington revive the peace process in exchange for a much tougher USA policy against Iran, he said.

  • Sonia Alvarado