News / Middle East

Iran's Rouhani Sworn In, Calls for Dialogue

Iran's newly-elected president Hassan Rouhani is seen gesturing to the media during a news conference in Tehran in this June 17, 2013, file photo.Iran's newly-elected president Hassan Rouhani is seen gesturing to the media during a news conference in Tehran in this June 17, 2013, file photo.
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Iran's newly-elected president Hassan Rouhani is seen gesturing to the media during a news conference in Tehran in this June 17, 2013, file photo.
Iran's newly-elected president Hassan Rouhani is seen gesturing to the media during a news conference in Tehran in this June 17, 2013, file photo.
VOA News
Iran's new president, moderate Muslim cleric Hassan Rouhani, took the oath of office before parliament Sunday, calling for dialogue with the West to reduce "antagonism and aggression."

A day after he was formally endorsed and confirmed in his new role by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, Rouhani said rival nations should "speak to Iran through the language of respect, not the language of sanctions."

He promised to fight corruption and all forms of discrimination, saying Iran's people had demanded reform, change and prosperity though the ballot box.

The 64-year-old cleric easily beat his conservative rivals in June elections. He has pledged to pursue less confrontational policies abroad in order to ease international sanctions on Iran's economy over its nuclear policies.

In Washington, White House spokesman Jay Carney responded within hours, saying the United States was ready to work with Rouhani's government if it were serious about engagement.

Iran's new leader will have to deal with huge challenges, including a sagging economy and the outside world's predominantly negative view of Iran's controversial nuclear program.

Rouhani immediately presented a list of Cabinet nominees to parliament. The core of his team has figures with academic degrees from institutions in California, Washington and London.

The president's nominee for foreign minister - Iran's former ambassador to the United Nations, Mohammad Javad Zarif - is a respected diplomat involved in negotiations with the United States since the 1980s and well known to top U.S. officials.

Others include officials who served in the administrations of both reformist President Mohammad Khatami and centrist President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

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

He is Iran's seventh president, succeeding the hardline Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the country's highest elected official.

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

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by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 05, 2013 9:35 AM
Rouhani, a “moderate” cleric, takes oath of office and takes over in Iran. Calling him moderate, what does that leave us with? At the moment I can assure it only leaves us with much, much questions. Questions like what to expect from Iran as a result of this change of baton. The Israeli PM calls it a change of name not a change of attitude; will it be just a change of tactic to achieving the same result that Ahmadinejad and Ayatolah Ali Khamenei wanted? Already he has made a first tactical or diplomatic blunder – he called Israel a wound on the Islamic body, though his apologists are looking for ways to tell the world that that is not what he said. But whether any effort is made to correct it in any way or not – which is the work of diplomacy – a doused lie or tainted truth,

Rouhani has given the expectant world what to look out for in his resume/manifesto – the pivot on which his Middle East (and perhaps Western) diplomacy is going to hinge. For now that is settled – that Iran’s aggression toward Israel is not going to change under Rouhani. Then the other questions are, how much freedom are other religious minorities going to get under Rouhani? How much freedom in general are the citizens going to experience in the new regime? Freedom of expression, of association and interaction, and of worship and embrace or otherwise of a religion: Or will Iran remain same iron curtain that restricts interaction with outside world and where religious interaction is a one-way traffic – into islam but not out, except the one will become a subject in their own country? Being that you never know with these people, though seems he has a good team to work with, the situation now is that of cautious optimism.


by: mambo vipi from: tanzania
August 05, 2013 8:25 AM
West especially USA should now stop threatening IRAN with outdated sanctions instead they should open up their mind and heart to put all their difference aside to end this nuclear issue.West should accept that IRAN as an indepepent state has got a right to nuclear technology in the very first place,stop double standards then this issue will be gone.


by: Mohammad from: Iran
August 05, 2013 3:57 AM
As an Iran's citizen, I believe Iran will not change its nuclear policy because Iran's leader (Mr. Khamenei) makes decision about nuclear issue. Furthermore Western countries and Israel will not change their policy about nuclear issue. Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu always threaten Iran and it's very bad because motivate Iran for starting war


by: Ali
August 04, 2013 11:13 AM
Rouhani is a moderate politician and his election is a good opportunity for reaching a wide agreement over Iran's nuclear program. the last weeks design of US congress to extend sanction and further new sanction against Iran was a very Bad design in a wrong time.


by: JohnWV from: USA
August 04, 2013 10:49 AM
NO MORE WARS! Israel has ICBM nukes and openly threatens Iran, actually campaigns for war against Iran. Israel, not Iran, is the warmonger. Resolution lies with lifting all sanctions and compensating Iran for damages from the $$$ billions we will no longer be giving the Jewish state. American foreign policy must again serve American interests, not the Jewish state's paranoid pursuit of invulnerability, territorial conquest and racist empire in and beyond the Mideast. NO MORE WARS!

In Response

by: tim from: pa
August 05, 2013 6:01 AM
yes but Israel hasn't used an icbm against iran and Iran supplys the missiles to Hezbollah and other terrorists groups that attack Israel

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