Feb 17, 2020 10:15 Asia/Tehran [Updated: Feb 17, 2020 11:53 Asia/Tehran]

Tehran (IP)- Speaking at the 33rd Khwarazmi International Awards ceremony in Tehran on Monday, President Hassan Rouhani stated the Iranian nation seeks engagement with the world toward progress, and it is wrong for us to isolate ourselves, we should build a bridge, not a wall.

Iran Press/ Iran News: Speaking at the 33rd Khwarazmi International Award ceremony in Tehran on Monday 17 February President Rouhani said: "Some say we should build a wall between us and others. We have to build a bridge, not a wall; (US secretary of state) Pompeo and others are building the wall."

In further remarks, President Rouhani said: "Now that our enemies have exerted pressure on us, we have to work harder to overcome these problems and this is certainly possible."

Rouhani noted, "Today, all the leaders of different countries are surprised by the determination and resilience of the Iranian nation, and it is surprising to them that a nation under such pressure is advancing in science and technology."

He warned about the 'polarization' of society, especially universities, saying that learning should be our priority. "We built the university for the advancement of science and technology. While it should have political participation, though the university should avoid polarization and politicization."

President Rouhani went on to say that when IAEA's experts came to Iran they were surprised at how fast Iran is progressing.

"We are proud of our history rather than our geography," the president added. "For the first time, Iran established democracy and parliament and the electoral system in the Middle East. We are a great nation with a long history."

Rouhani said, "After the Islamic revolution it has been a matter of honor and pride that Islamic Iran has advanced so much in science and we have made a lot of progress compared to the pre-revolution."

He pointed to the growth of 59 steps of science in Iran despite the sanctions, adding, "Of course if there were no sanctions we would have done better, but we would not have lost the way under pressure and sanctions, and we have been able to make 59 steps growth during these six years. It means that the revolution has been on the right path."

In the end, Rouhani added, "We are among the first in the world in scientific growth. Today we have enough investments by ourselves in the manufacturing sector and we make spare parts at home. Our health minister has announced that in the past year, we have reduced our $ 500 million in imports of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, and we are making the same pharmaceutical and medicinal drugs at home."

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