Iranian President Hassan Rouhani defended his country's nuclear deal in a televised debate with all six candidates, two weeks before a presidential election. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT. NO REPORTER NARRATION. Iran's six presidential candidates participated in a live debate on Friday (May 5) to discuss cultural and political issues ahead of the country's May 19 vote, which will shape the Islamic Republic's economic and domestic policy for years to come. Incumbent Hassan Rouhani, seeking a second term in office, faced criticism over the economy despite championing the deal reached with six powers in 2015 that led to the lifting of most international sanctions against Iran in 2016 in exchange for curbing Tehran's nuclear programme. During a three-hour debate carried live on state television, Rouhani defended the nuclear accord while his opponents sought to denigrate his economic record and downplay any positive effects of lifting the sanctions. Hardline mid-ranking cleric Ebrahim Raisi, who served for years on Iran's judiciary and is also running for election, said the diplomatic opening afforded by the nuclear deal had not yielded the benefits promised by the president.