In his first press conference, the newly elected president referred briefly to some points concerning the government’s foreign policy:
- Nuclear issue top priority – Already during the election campaign, Rouhani said that he was interested in relations with the international community, and he reiterated this point during the press conference. This special emphasis shows how important Rouhani views the issue. In fact, one of the most important goals of the new Iranian government’s foreign policy will be to work towards removing the impasse on nuclear negotiations. It seems that the nuclear talks and a solution to the sanctions are the top priorities for the president elect.
- Relations with China under review – The president elect mentioned several points concerning Iran’s relations with China. This may indicate Rouhani’s possible dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs between Iran and China. Many believe that the current relationship between Iran and China is not based on the principle of mutual interests, and that China is to some extent exploiting the anti-Iranian atmosphere around the world and the issue of sanctions, and treating Iran unfairly and in an unequal manner. Not only does the Chinese government benefit from these unfair relations, it also does not support Iran in international circles to the extent that might be expected. China has voted in favor of all the Security Council’s resolutions against Iran, while Russia has so far prevented three anti-Syria resolutions! It would seem, however, that Rouhani was referring mainly to the supervision of goods imported from China in favor of domestic production.
- Priority to relations with Iran’s neighbors - Rouhani’s emphasis on giving priority to relations with neighboring countries may indicate that although he will maintain relationships with places such as Latin America, his government will give priority mainly to neighboring countries.