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Iran’s President Rouhani Sworn In For His Second Term In Office


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (center) alongside parliament speaker Ali Larigani at the August 5 ceremony in parliament in Tehran

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has been sworn in for his second term in an open parliament session in Tehran.

Speaking at a lavish ceremony attended by more than 100 foreign dignitaries on August 5, Rouhani promised that his country will pursue a "path of coexistence and interaction with the world."

Among the guests was EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who held a meeting with Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif before the ceremony.

Rouhani, 68, a moderate cleric who secured reelection on May 19, was formally endorsed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on August 3.

Rouhani called the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers one of the greatest achievements of his government in the past four years. The landmark nuclear deal led to the lifting of most sanctions against Iran in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

Rouhani warned the United States against undermining the nuclear deal and said "Iran will not be the first to violate the nuclear deal, but nor will it stay silent when the United States fails to respect its commitments.”

Last month, Washington announced new sanctions over Iran’s missile program and alleged support for terrorist groups. U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly described the nuclear deal as "bad" and during his election campaign vowed to dismantle it.

Rouhani was first elected in 2013 with nearly 51 percent of the vote. He won 57 percent of the vote in May’s election after promising to build bridges with the outside world and create more jobs.

Iran's state media reported that more than 130 high-ranking officials from various countries and international organizations attended the swearing-in ceremony, a significant achievement for Iran, which has been largely isolated since the country's 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Top European officials present at the ceremony included French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, State Secretary at the German Foreign Ministry Michael Roth, and British Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa Alistair Burt.

Some of Iran's oldest allies, including Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, also attended the ceremony.

Under Iranian law, Rouhani will have two weeks to submit his cabinet to parliament for approval.

With reporting by AP, AFP, Reuters, TASS and dpa
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