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Iran's Rouhani Criticizes Trump, Recent Saudi Summit

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani gives a press conference in Tehran, Iran, May 22, 2017.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani gives a press conference in Tehran, Iran, May 22, 2017.

Iran's newly re-elected President Hassan Rouhani said Monday that Iran's relationship with the U.S. is a "curvy road," and called President Donald Trump's summit in Saudi Arabia this past weekend "just a show."

Rouhani also said that stability could not be achieved in the Middle East without his country's help.

"The Americans do not know our religion, that's what the catch is," Rouhani said in response to a question from AP.

Rouhani said he hopes the Trump administration will "settle down" enough for his nation to better understand it.

Rouhani was re-elected in a landslide win Friday, after his first term saw a major nuclear arms deal with world powers in 2015. Trump has threatened to try to renegotiate the deal.

Sunday, Trump delivered a speech in Saudi Arabia, pushing for Muslim unity in the fight against terrorism, which he called "a battle between good and evil."

In that address, Trump also took aim at Iran, accusing Tehran of contributing to instability in the region.

"The gathering in Saudi Arabia was just a show with no practical or political value of any kind," Rouhani said. The Iranian president criticized Trump's decision to visit Saudi Arabia, noting that the kingdom "has never seen a ballot box" while Iran just had another successful presidential election in which over 40 million people voted.

In response to the recent billion-dollar deals signed between Trump and the Saudi government, Rouhani said, "You can't solve terrorism just by giving your people's money to a superpower."

Rouhani also defended Iran's ballistic missile program, which has been highly opposed by the Trump administration. "The U.S. leaders should know that whenever we need a missile test because of a technical aspect, we will test. We will not wait for them and their permission," he said.

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