Iran's President Rouhani: 'Iran will ask no soul's permission to build missiles'

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"Iran is a powerful country and people like Mr. Trump or the United States administration can not hurt Iran", Ahmadinejad said in an interview with The Associated Press (AP). The article referenced the same site's 9th annual report on the death penalty in Iran, in order to showcase the fact that judicially-sanctioned killings have only increased in frequency under Rouhani's leadership.

Ahmadinejad gave reserved support for the 2015 deal with the USA, commonly referred to as the Iranian nuclear deal.

General Salami stressed that the global arrogance, led by the U.S., should know that the great Iranian nation will never be under influence of any other power. Some think more people register under moderate or reformist governments as they are less repressive. The benefits have yet to trickle down to the average Iranian, though, fueling some discontent.

"The production capacity of industrial and defense organizations has increased by 148% and the exports of defense sector by 227 percent...", the president said, comparing the figures to those in 2013 when he took office.

Human rights campaigners say there have been few, if any, moves to bring about greater social freedoms as Rouhani's main focus has been boosting the sanctions-damaged economy.

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Analysts describe Raisi as utterly loyal to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, meaning he would likely remain deeply suspicious of engagement with the West but unlikely to backtrack on the nuclear deal, which had the boss's tacit consent.

Raisi, appointed by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is now the custodian and chairman of the Shrine of Shiite Imam Reza in the northeastern Iranian city of Mashhad.

Ahmadinejad previously served two four-year terms from 2005 to 2013.

He was also Prosecutor and Deputy Prosecutor of Tehran in 1980s and 1990s. In 2006, he was elected to the Assembly of Experts that has powers to choose the next supreme leader, and now sits on its board of directors.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani will seek a second term, ending weeks of speculation by joining an election field loaded with high-profile hardliners - including his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Just when it appeared Ahmadinejad would be leaving, he turned around and returned to the Interior Ministry's registration desk, pulling out his identification documents with a flourish in front of a melee of shouting journalists.

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