Outgoing Iranian President Hassan Rouhani acknowledged in an address on Saturday that the government in Tehran “did not tell part of the truth" at times during his eight years in office.
As Reuters reports, Rouhani made his remarks during his last cabinet meeting as president and just days after he was lectured by Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on the country's recent failures in nuclear negotiations.
“What we told people was not contrary to reality, but we did not tell part of the truth to people,” Rouhani said. “Because I did not find it useful and I was afraid it would harm national unity.”
Rouhani did not specify what he was referring to with the remarks, Reuters reports.
“If we have a defect, we apologize to the people and ask them for forgiveness and mercy,” he added.
Ebrahim Raisi, a protégé of Khamenei, won Iran's presidential election last month. The hardline cleric's ascension could complicate the ongoing nuclear negotiations, with critics pointing to his history of allegedly "disappearing" political dissidents.
Rouhani blamed former President TrumpDonald TrumpTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Schumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe MORE, who withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, for much of Iran's problems. Trump's decision to withdraw caused the Iranian rial to plummet in value and prevented Tehran from following through with some plans due to lack of funds.
“We did not have the money to buy due to sanctions and not selling oil, but the contract is completely ready,” Rouhani said, referring to the Iranian nuclear deal.