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Rouhani Inaugurated President for a Second Term - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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London – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced his country’s readiness for further enhancing cooperation with other states and the launch of “mother of all negotiations”, hinting to Tehran’s anticipation for communicating with the new US administration. Rouhani believes that the success of the nuclear agreement will develop foreign and domestic policies and enhance the economic situation.

The president reiterated that Iran will continue to develop its nuclear arsenal which is a guarantor of peace and insisted that a practical agreement must be reached between internal parties for national interests.

At his inauguration before parliament Saturday, Rouhani underscored the need for “national cooperation” and “constructive” relations with the world.

Rouhani was sworn in as Iran’s 12th president in Tehran at the presence of the country’s high-ranking officials as well as leaders and senior politicians from around the world.

The inauguration ceremony started with speeches from Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani and Judiciary Chief Sadeq Amoli Larijani at the presence of delegates from more than 140 countries, according to state news agencies, including High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, Iraqi President Fuad Masum, Afghani President Ashraf Ghani, and President of North Korean Supreme People’s Assembly Kim Jon-nam.

Rouhani announced his country’s readiness to cooperate with the countries present at the inauguration, adding that Tehran is not against any other country. He said the Iranian nation has made great sacrifices in the path of safeguarding freedom and the rule of law, adding that Iranians have put their trust in the Islamic establishment.

The president reiterated the political agenda of his second government, which he pursued over his first term, maintaining that his government “wants to be one of moderation, one which would not succumb to any aggression or be upset by any excitement.”

He told the audience that he aims to present a pacifist government preferring peace over war and reform over stagnancy in both domestic and foreign policies. The president vowed to follow the Iranian nation’s demands and emphasized that his government is ready to defend the country’s national interests.

During his presidential campaign, Rouhani praised the nuclear agreement saying that it keeps Iran from entering into wars, which was highly criticized by the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei who considered military power and people as the reason behind avoiding wars.

Rouhani’s defense of his foreign policy came in an attempt to end any criticism of the nuclear agreement, especially after US President Donald Trump signed new sanctions against Tehran.

He emphasized that the time of imposing sanctions has ended and called for holding negotiations in dealing with issues.

Rouhani said the US has not adhered to its obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), because it is “addicted to the illegal and ineffective policy of sanctions and threats” and this proved to the world that Washington cannot be trusted. He stressed that Iran would never initiate the violation of the nuclear deal but would not remain silent in the face of US non-performance of the deal.

Referring to largest non-nuclear bomb used, Rouhani said that the time of “mother of bomb” is over. He stated: “Today, it’s not time to unveil the mother of bombs. Time is ripe for unveiling mother of all cooperation.”

“Mother of bombs” weighs 10 tons and is nine meters long, and was used by the US Army in eastern Afghanistan in April. Iran considered the use of this bomb a message directed to it and Washington was strongly criticized by commanders of Iranian armed forces.

In recent weeks, US imposed new sanctions on Iran nationals and entities, accusing it of breaching the nuclear deal.

According to foreign policy experts, Rouhani’s administration is going through its weakest times of foreign policies especially amid the wide criticism he has been receiving internally.

Current Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif is expected to remain in position for the coming four years.

Rouhani linked between peace and weapons saying that his country’s peace depends on weapons and weapons depend on peace, adding that the nuclear agreement is a model of national agreement in Iran.

Rouhani denies any disagreement between Iranian officials concerning the nuclear agreement following the criticism he received that his missile program affects his presidential campaign.

Rouhani also delivered several messages to his policies’ critics especially after recent internal disagreements reached an unprecedented level in the history of the regime.

He reiterated the importance of reaching a common understanding and agreement on national causes and opportunities.

The president vowed to honor his campaign’s promises.

Unlike previous ceremonies, Commander of Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Mohammed Ali Jafari didn’t attend Rouhani’s inauguration as well as Commander of IRGC’s Quds Force Qasem Soleimani. This indicates the ongoing disagreements between Rouhani and top IRGC officials after he described the military forces as a “government with rifle.”