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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact 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.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs