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Khamenei, Rouhani Disagree over Iran’s Priorities | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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President Hassan Rouhani sworn in for the second term (AFP)

London – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani officially started his second presidential term on Thursday, vowing to maintain his efforts to end Iran’s isolation as he was sworn in by the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in a ceremony attended by senior political, religious and military officials.

Rouhani is scheduled to take the oath of office before Parliament on Saturday, amid tight security measures provided by the Revolutionary Guards. He also due to present the new Cabinet formation within two weeks after taking the oath.

In a speech delivered on the occasion, the Iranian president strongly defended his internal and foreign policies over the past four years, stressing that the heavy participation of Iranian citizens in the last elections has demonstrated political progress and maturity that has been achieved in the country.

He pointed out that his government has taken essential steps to restore economic stability, reduce inflation and poverty and end all forms of discrimination.

Commenting on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which was signed in 2015, Rouhani said: “The nuclear deal is a sign of Iran’s goodwill on the international stage.”

“Although we are paying the price of our independence because of dignity, we will never accept being isolated by enemies,” he added.

The Iranian president explained his government’s economic policy and said his priority was combating poverty and facing the unemployment crisis. He pointed out that the nuclear agreement was a step towards the rebuilding of the Iranian economic system.

During his first term in office, Rouhani disagreed with the Iranian-backed Revolutionary Guards on internal investments, as the IRGC had long opposed the entry of foreign companies into the domestic investment market, contrary to Rouhani’s aspirations for economic openness following the lifting of sanctions.

In his address to Rouhani, Khamenei stressed the need to form a government that supports unity and dignity and takes into account internal energies, considering the twelfth government’s priority to eradicate poverty, corruption, control inflation and promote economic development.

In this regard, the spiritual leader said in the text of the presidential decree: “Once again, the implementation of the economy of resistance and the attention to the creation of jobs and to internal production must be stressed.”