Iran’s new president Hassan Rohani (pictured centre) took the oath of office before parliament in the capital Tehran on Sunday, one day after he was officially endorsed by the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
In his first speech he vowed to improve the lives of ordinary Iranians and lead a government of righteousness, honesty and trustworthiness.
"The people voted for moderation ... the people want to live better, to have dignity, and enjoy a stable life. They want to recapture their deserving position among nations," he said shortly after being sworn in.
US willing to work with Rohani government on Iran nuclear programme
The United States said on Sunday it is prepared to work with new Iranian President Hassan Rohani’s administration to address international concerns over the country’s controversial nuclear programme, as long as Iran is willing to engage seriously on the issue.
“The inauguration of President Rohani presents an opportunity for Iran to act quickly to resolve the international community’s deep concerns over Iran’s nuclear program,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement.
“Should this new government choose to engage substantively and seriously to meet its international obligations and find a peaceful solution to this issue, it will find a willing partner in the United States,” he said.
(FRANCE 24 with wires)
Rohani also called for better relations with the West and the demise of international sanctions. "The only path to interact with Iran is through negotiations on equal grounds, reciprocal trust-building, mutual respect and reducing hostilities" he said.
Sunday's ceremony was attended by some nine regional leaders, marking the first time the Islamic republic extended invitations to all countries, except the United States.
Challenges ahead for Rohani
Rohani, who won the country’s June 14 presidential election by a landslide, has been widely portrayed as a moderate.
But he has inherited a number of challenges as Iran experiences its worst political and economic isolation in two decades.
He faces the enormous task of attempting to rescue an economy weighed down by sanctions and the profligacy of the previous government.
He also has to try to balance the demands of hardliners who dominate parliament and the officially sidelined reformists whose support helped him win the election.
After taking the oath, Rohani unveiled his proposed cabinet.
Rohani nominated veteran diplomat Javad Zarif as foreign minister and Bijan Zanganeh as oil minister.
The cabinet nominations have to be reviewed by parliament, then approved by Khamenei.
(FRANCE 24 with wires)
Date created : 2013-08-04