DUBAI, May 22 (Reuters) - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday stability could not be achieved in the Middle East without Tehran’s help, responding to criticism of the Islamic Republic from U.S. President Donald Trump who is visiting the region.
Rouhani, a pragmatist who won a new fresh mandate in a May 19 presidential election, also dismissed a summit Trump attended at the weekend in Saudi Arabia as a “ceremonial (event) that had no political value and will bear no results”.
“Who can say regional stability can be restored without Iran? Who can say the region will experience total stability without Iran?” Rouhani said.
Rouhani also said last week’s election showed Iranians wanted more democracy and interaction with the world, adding this would lead to much-needed economic progress. (Additional reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin in London; Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Gareth Jones)