Author Topic: New Iranian leader Rouhani assails sanctions, demands 'respect'  (Read 304 times)

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Offline flowers

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TEHRAN — Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, said Sunday that his nation would not be intimidated by threats and demanded “respect” from the global community.

“If you want the right response, it should not be through the language of sanctions, it should be through the language of discourse and respect,” Rouhani said in a pointed message to outside nations during his official swearing in at the parliament here. “Iran does not pursue war.”

Rouhani, 64, a moderate cleric who was a surprise victor in June’s elections, officially assumed office on Saturday but took the formal oath of office Sunday for his four-year term. The swearing-in took place in the hall of parliament, before lawmakers, government insiders and foreign dignitaries.

The president’s tone was conciliatory, but he stressed that Iran sought “dialogue,” not sanctions and “antagonism” from global powers.
[Updated 11:32 a.m. Aug. 4: As Iran's new president took office, the White House put out a conciliatory statement congratulating the Iranian people “for making their voices heard during Iran’s election.”

Rouhani’s inauguration, the White House said, “represents an opportunity for Iran to act quickly to resolve the international community’s deep concerns over Iran’s nuclear program.” The Obama administration is still committed to a "peaceful" settlement if Tehran is willing to meet its “obligations,” the White House said.

"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,” the White House said.]

In his wide-ranging speech, Rouhani again stressed his oft-repeated themes of “moderation” and “prudence,” a sharp departure from the provocative style of his predecessor, two-term President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was prevented by term limits from running again. The new president also pledged to work to improve civil rights for Iranian minorities and for women and to make Iran a "meritocracy," curbing corruption.

“The people want to live better, to feel dignified and to enjoy benefits from a stable life,” said Rouhani, who vowed to “restore hope” to fellow citizens.

Even before Rouhani assumed office, the U.S. Congress moved to tighten economic sanctions with an eye toward cutting off much of Iran’s trade in oil, its principal export. U.S.-led sanctions against Iran are already viewed as some of the harshest ever imposed and have contributed to Iran’s economic tailspin. The nation suffers from high unemployment and rising inflation, causing considerable despair, especially among highly educated young people who face reduced opportunities.


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