Improving low-income people's lives gov't first concern/For 1st time in Iran's history, all people covered by health insurance/We are developing in advanced technologies, peaceful nuclear energy/US act in Syria not compatible with int'l law, reason, countries' interests

President Rouhani attended a press conference with domestic and international journalists and reporters and talked about the Islamic Republic of Iran's stances about regional and international issues.

Mon 10 - April 2017 - 11:30

At the beginning of the press conference, which was held on Monday, Dr Rouhani congratulated Nowruz and the new year, saying: "The 11th government has had good achievements in the past 3.5 years, especially in year 1395 with the Supreme Leader and people's support".

Stressing that the first concern of the 11th government is improving the lives of low-income people of the society, Dr Rouhani said: "Based on domestic and foreign figures, our people's life, with regard to politics and public and economic services, has been better than predicted".

President Rouhani added: "Earnings of the low-income strata has doubled or more during the current government's term of office".

"Our farmers, who are not among high-income strata of our society and some of them are among low-income strata, have better conditions in the 11th government," Dr Rouhani continued saying.

He also said: "In year 1392, the production of agricultural products was around 97 million tonnes and in year 1395, it increased 21 million tonnes to 118".

The President of the Islamic Republic of Iran went on to say: "The government has paid most of its attention to health and the environment, which have close relations with each other".

"For the first time in Iran's history, all people, especially those living in the outskirts of cities, are covered by health insurance," he continued.

The President also said: "2100 hospital beds have been added to hospitals in the current government for the patients' convenience and, of course, the health minister says the ministry is trying to increase the number to 2300 beds".

He also described the government's attempts in villages, including providing natural gas for 9,000 villages, delivering fresh and healthy water to 5,200 villages, and connecting 25,000 villages to the Internet as an achievement and honour for the 11th government.

Referring to the coming presidential election, Dr Rouhani said: "It is OK that different factions, parties and groups have their say but great care should be taken when giving numbers and figures, not telling lies to people".

"God-willing, people will hold a historic, competitive and fair election and this year, we need to try more than before for national production and employment," the President said.

"The highest treason is to provide them with incorrect figures, especially lies that cause desperation and hopelessness," he added.

He also mentioned Iran's advancements and achievements in the nuclear energy industry, adding: "I am very happy that in year 1395, 42 important projects in this field were opened and this means that we are on the path to progress and development in all advanced technologies, including the peaceful nuclear energy, especially after the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) ".

On cash subsidies, Dr Rouhani said: "What we did in the 11th government, was that these cash subsidies be taken to sectors such as production and social services and we believe that people's lives must be so good that they won't need it".

He also stressed that the entrepreneurs must become more active and have high hopes about the future, adding: "We must make a hopeful atmosphere and try to attract investment".

Emphasising that the banking system needs to be reformed, he said: "Of course, I hereby appreciate the banks for what they did in year 1395. They gave 43% more loans to people which is a very good figure".

"The 11th government has done a great job in fighting smuggling of goods, reducing the volume from $25 billion to $15 billion. Of course, the anti-smuggling headquarters has announced that the figures are even lower," the President said.

Speaking on Iran's advising presence in Syria and the latest missile attack by the United States on Syria, he said: "The issue of Syria is a very important and sensitive issue of the region. From the first sparks of the Syrian issue, which goes back to 6 years ago, Iran believed that other countries must not support the terrorists but some countries of the region and some in the West did this".

He added: "In my first New York visit to attend the General Assembly of the United Nations, I had meetings with heads of many European countries and told them how their support of terrorism can be dangerous for themselves. In the meetings, I told them that if they continued the trend, they would witness the same insecurity in their own capital cities".

"I believe that something wrong has been done here. The Islamic Republic of Iran has believed from the beginning that terrorists, who have congregated in Syria from throughout the region and out of the region and are fighting the people in the most savage way, must be confronted with. Of course the government of Syria needs reforms," Rouhani said.

He continued: "Iran has believed from the beginning that the only solution to the Syrian problem is the ballot box. Iran suggests the ballot box not just for Tehran, but rather it suggests it for the whole region. If the whole region rely on their ballot boxes like Iran does, their problems will decrease and end".

Expressing hope about reforms in Syria, he said: "For us, these reforms are necessary, however in the latest incident, firstly the Americans carried out the attack under a pretext that is neither proved, not clear".

"Iran's suggestion for the issue, which has been offered to Mr Assad and Mr Putin, is that an international fact-finding commission be formed and the members go to the region and investigate. Finding where the gas was released from is easy and Mr Putin told me in the phone conversation that identifying different aspects of the incident was easy," he continued.

The President added: "If a fact-finding commission goes to the region and investigates the issue scientifically, everything will become clear. If the commission went and it became clear that it was done by terrorists, then what answer will the Americans have? Why did the US do this? If terrorists conclude that whenever they release gas somewhere, the US will do something to support them, what will the situation be in Syria and the region?".

 "The United States did this once, but will it remain unanswered next time? The Russian officials themselves said they were a few inches away from entering a conflict and they are right. If the missiles hit a few metres up or down, it would lead to a major conflict," said Rouhani

He added: "The US action in Syria is not compatible with international law, reason and the interests of other countries. They are wrong. Countries encouraging the US are doing this because they want to strengthen terrorists. The terrorists had two major defeats, one in Aleppo and the other in their attacks in recent weeks that inflicted a major defeat on them".

The President also said: "The action by the United States was maybe for compensating for the terrorists' defeat, but for whatever reason, we consider it incorrect and condemn it. Of course, the use of chemical weapons, regardless of who the users and perpetrators are, is generally and completely condemned".

He added: "Iran is a chemical weapons victim and when there is talk about Khan Shaykhun, we are reminded of Sardasht and Halabcheh. The Iranian nation have suffered from chemical weapons for years and under no circumstances should any terrorist group or anybody else be allowed to use chemical weapons".

On the possible second attack by the US on Syria, President Rouhani said: "Since many years ago, the Americans have not acted within the framework of international regulations, like the sanctions against us. They have always done things unilaterally and incorrectly consider themselves the leader of the world".

"Repeating the action can be very dangerous for the region and I think that reacting to it should be done by the Syrian people and army in the battlefield against terrorists in a way that it become clear for the Americans that such actions cannot encourage the terrorists," he said.

The President also added: "Basically, supporting terrorism and terrorists will not be to the benefit of any country, even if that country has created and supported terrorists because one day the same terrorists will make troubles for them ".

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