Iran’s Rouhani slams hardline critics: Their ‘era is over’

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Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

Iranian President Hassan Rohani took aim at his hard-line opponents on May 8, saying their era of “violence and extremism” is coming to an end.

Iran’s President Hassan Rohani.

Rohani’s comments, reported by the semi-official ISNA news agency, came as he campaigned in western Iran less than two weeks before the May 19 presidential election in which he is seeking a second term.

He has come under fire from conservative rivals who say the 2015 nuclear deal he secured with world powers has failed to yield the promised economic benefits for Iran.

Rohani, meanwhile, has warned that a vote for his opponents could lead to greater authoritarianism in Iran, a theme he stressed in his May 8 speech in the city of Hamedan.

“The people of Iran shall once again announce that they don’t approve of those who only called for executions and jail throughout the last 38 years,” he said in a speech to a packed stadium.

“We’ve entered this election to tell those practicing violence and extremism that your era is over,” Rohani said.

Hard-line cleric Ebrahim Raisi is considered by many to be Rohani’s main challenger in the election.

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