News / Middle East

Rouhani Takes Office as Iran's 7th President

Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani (File Photo)Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani (File Photo)
x
Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani (File Photo)
Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani (File Photo)
VOA News
Moderate Muslim cleric Hassan Rouhani has taken office as Iran's seventh president, succeeding Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the country's highest elected official.

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, endorsed and confirmed Rouhani's presidency Saturday at a formal ceremony broadcast throughout Iran and abroad. The president's public inauguration before parliament takes place on Sunday.

Rouhani, trained as a lawyer in addition to religious studies he began as a teenager, has held senior political posts in Iran for decades, including leading the nation's team of nuclear negotiators for over 15 years (1989-2005).

In his first speech as president, Rouhani vowed to work to lift Western sanctions on Iran. He said the goal of these penalties was to isolate Iran and push the country towards chaos.

The United Nations Security Council has imposed sanctions on Iran in an effort to pressure it to end its nuclear program. Several countries, including the United States, have imposed their own additional measures.

Rouhani also said Iran's "detractors" and "enemies" have been trying to keep the country in full isolation, to widen the gap between the government and the people. However, he said, strong public participation in the presidential election in June "foiled" this alleged plot.

The 64-year-old cleric will have to deal with huge challenges, including a sagging economy and the outside world's predominantly negative view of Iran's controversial nuclear policies.

The president is Iran's head of government. Iran's supreme leader is the chief of state and gives final approval for major policy decisions.

Even before Rouhani took over from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, controversy swirled Friday over disputed press accounts of remarks in which Rouhani referred to Israel.

The Iranian Student News Agency (ISNA) and other Iranian news media quoted Rouhani as calling Israel a "wound ... on the body of the Muslim world" that needs to be "removed." International news agencies also carried the remarks, which were quickly condemned by Israel.

Later Friday, however, Iranian state television said the initial accounts of what Rouhani said were distorted, and it aired video of him telling reporters that Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories "is like an old wound in the body of Islamic society." He did not broadly refer to the existence of the state of Israel.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 03, 2013 11:26 AM
Referring to Rouhani as moderate leaves much sour taste in the mouth. When he started with seeing Israel's Palestine relationship in bad light points to the usual Iranian and Arab islamist rhetoric against Israel; in other words his regime is going to spend a lot of time along the same line toed by his predecessor trying to garner all of Arabs and islamic world against Israel rather than make peace. He started his presidential assumption of office by seeing Iran's "detractors" and "enemies", thus leaving the world to wonder whom he may be referring to in those terms. It does seem there is more to expect than just a "moderate" islamist who's going to mesmerize the international community with a change of jingle from his predecessor's war drumming.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid