TEHRAN: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that the solution to regional problems did not lie in the use of force but rather in respecting democracy, and era of the military coups had come to a close, Press TV reported.
Rouhani made these remarks in an address to a huge crowd of people in Iran’s western city of Kermanshah on Sunday, a day after Turkey said that it had largely crushed an attempted military coup against the government.
He said, “We live in a region, where some still think that they can transfer power through coups or overthrow a government elected by people’s votes with the use of military tanks, artillery, aircraft and helicopter.”
“They have failed to realise that the era of coup is over, and that coups and tanks are not the solution. They must come to the understanding that the solution to problems is democracy and respecting the votes of the majority.” He said, “Today is the day when issues can be settled at ballot boxes, and people can make their voice heard through their votes.”
The botched coup began late on Friday, when a section of the military blocked Istanbul’s iconic Bosphorus Bridge and strafed the headquarters of Turkish intelligence and parliament in the capital, Ankara. Tanks, helicopters and soldiers clashed with police and people on the streets of the two main Turkish cities while explosions and gunfire rang out.
Thousands heeded a call by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to take to the streets in a bid to foil the coup, which was blamed on Fethullah Gulen, an accusation categorically rejected by the US-based cleric.
In his remarks, Rouhani also touched on the last year’s nuclear agreement between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 group of countries, saying that the Iranian nation “cut off the hands of aggressors and the US as a result of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).” In the nuclear negotiations, Iran managed to consolidate its right to use peaceful nuclear energy, he added.
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, China and Russia – plus Germany signed the JCPOA on July 14, 2015 following two and a half years of intensive talks. Under the deal, all nuclear-related sanctions imposed on Iran by the European Union, the Security Council and the US would be lifted. Iran has, in return, put some limitations on its nuclear activities.
What happened in Turkey in the wake of a military coup on Saturday would lead to a serious weakening of the army, a Beirut-based journalist Omar Nashabe has predicted. He works with the Al-Akhbar newspaper, and described the coup as an illegal attempt by some elements beyond Turkey to weaken the country’s democratically-elected president through creating chaos.
“This apparently will weaken Turkey. I think that Erdogan is victorious and perhaps the democratic principal is victorious but Turkey will be weakened," he told Press TV on Saturday night. He also said that the recent images showing civilians and policemen humiliating the men in uniform and officers in uniform will weaken the army. “I think what happened in Turkey, regardless of the outcome, is the situation that the army will not be in a full power as it was in the past,” he said.
A news editor with Daily Sabah newspaper from Istanbul, Mehmet Solmaz pointed the finger at the supporters of US-based Fethullah Gulen within the air force. He accused Gulen of writing a letter in 1997 in which he allegedly said that "his movement is ready to give all sorts of service to the coup plotters."
He added that during the 1980 coup, again, Gulen had written an article in his magazine at that time and explained it as a religious reform. Touching on the reasons behind the coup failure, he said, "If you don’t have land support in such coup attempts and if you don’t have police department next to you or even naval forces next to you, you are not going to be successful and this is what we have seen today.”