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Iran swears in new president
August 4, 2013, 3:16 pm

Iranians believe that Rouhani, considered a moderate, will improve the country's economy [Xinhua]

Iranians believe that Rouhani, considered a moderate, will improve the country’s economy [Xinhua]

Hassan Rouhani, a theologian and former parliamentarian, was sworn in as Iran’s new president on Sunday amid growing economic challenges brought on by sanctions related to the country’s nuclear energy programme.

“I swear to protect the constitution and justice…. and to devote myself to protect freedom and people’s dignity and rights on the basis of constitution,” he said during his inauguration ceremony.

Rouhani, who was elected on June 14 with a considerable majority, is the seventh president since the Islamic revolution in 1979 toppled the Shah.

While Western powers hope that Rouhani, who some consider to be a moderate, will be more open to an agreement regarding long-running negotiations over Iran’s nuclear programme, millions of Iranians will be looking to the former cleric to improve their economic lot and bring an end to crippling sanctions.

In recent weeks, wages have been delayed in some sectors while shortages in imports of foodstuffs and medicine have started to bite into people’s livelihoods.

“People called for change and improvement in their living standards, they want to live better,” Rouhani said during the ceremony.

Attended by Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani, Rouhani cited his oath and vowed to use all means of power to serve the country, Iranian nation and the Islamic establishment. Many hope he will also bring changes to the country’s social and economic sectors as well as its foreign relations.

Rouhani was endorsed by the country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saturday.

Meanwhile, a number of US lawmakers led by Congressmen Charles Dent (R-PA) and David Price (D-NC) have called on the White House to open a new chapter and “reinvigorate diplomatic negotiations with Iran” following Rouhani’s election win. in the wake of the election of Hassan Rouhani as the country’s new president.

In Iran, there is growing realization that the economy can only be improved if Tehran and Western powers reach a deal over the country’s nuclear programme. Iran has been slapped with numerous economic UN and international sanctions in the past decade on the charge that it has failed to cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and suspend its nuclear enrichment programme.

Some governments have accused Tehran of pursuing a nuclear weaponisation agenda; Iran says it needs nuclear power to satisfy its growing energy needs.


Source: Agencies

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