Iran’s new President Hassan Rohani has taken the oath of office at the Iranian Majlis (Parliament), one day after being endorsed by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, Press TV reports. Iranian lawmakers and senior officials as well as foreign dignitaries attended the swearing-in ceremony in Tehran on Sunday. Rohani, whose four-year tenure officially started on Sunday, takes over from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Delegations from over 50 countries attended Rohani’s inauguration ceremony. Among the foreign dignitaries present were 10 presidents, six vice-presidents, two prime ministers, eight parliament speakers as well as several prominent former officials.
“I think, since the beginning of the revolution [until now], none of the swearing-ins has been as important as [the one] this time. In none of the previous ceremonies did we see so many foreign dignitaries and foreign officials. And this is because of Mr. Rohani's slogans of improving ties with the world based on mutual respect,” political expert Ghodrat Ali Heshmatian said.Former European Union foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, and former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad also took part in the ceremony as special guests. UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Kubish also participated in the event as the representative of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. During his swearing-in ceremony, the new Iranian president called on Western governments to “speak to Iran not with the language of sanctions, but with the language of respect.” The new chief executive noted that the only way for interaction with Iran is “dialog on equal footing, mutual confidence-building, mutual respect, and reduction of hostilities,” adding that his policy would be based on “reducing tensions, mutual confidence-building, and constructive interaction” with the world. At the end of the ceremony, Rohani also unveiled the proposed list of nominees for his cabinet. “As the people created a political epic following their vote, a real enthusiasm has been created in the society and now everybody wants the problems of the country to be solved,” said a representative of clerics in Majlis, Jafar Fathalizadeh. Rohani won Iran’s June 14 presidential election with 50.7 percent of a total of over 36 million ballots. The voter turnout in the election was 72.7 percent. KA/HGH/SS/MR/HN