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Iran: Rouhani pledges to work with parliament - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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In this June 17, 2013, file photo, Iranian president-elect Hassan Rouhani places his hand on his heart as a sign of respect, after speaking at a news conference in Tehran, Iran. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi, File)

In this June 17, 2013, file photo, Iranian president-elect Hassan Rouhani places his hand on his heart as a sign of respect after speaking at a news conference in Tehran, Iran. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi, File)

London, Asharq Al-Awsat—Iran’s president-elect, Hassan Rouhani, pledged to cooperate closely with the Iranian parliament during his administration in a speech to the body in Sunday. The promise stands in contrast to the position of his predecessor, outgoing president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

In his comments, Rouhani inidirectly criticized Ahmadinejad’s frequent clashes with legislators and said the country’s problems could not be solved without cooperation between the legislative and executive branches.

He said: “The interaction with Majlis [Parliament] has not been very respectful in recent years. We must restore such respect and dignity. The new administration is not planning to confront the Majlis or to mislead the MPs with false statistics.”

The president-elect, who was accompanied by 19 senior advisors, stated: “I will compile a comprehensive report on the first hundred days of my administration. In this report, I will clarify the state of the country in various matters, the problems we are facing and the solution to these problems to the Iranian people, the supreme leader, and also MPs.”

“This is the first time in the twenty years since the Imposed War [the Iran–Iraq War of 1980–88] that our economic growth has been negative. Iran is experiencing 42 percent inflation and unemployment,” Rouhani added.

In a display of bipartisanship, the team that accompanied Rouhani was compromised of officials affiliated to the two major political factions, reformists and conservatives, and also the outgoing Ahmadinejad administration.

Among the 19-member team of advisors who accompanied Rouhani to the Majlis were Iran’s former envoy to the UN, Mohammad Javad Zarif; former reformist president Muhammad Khatami’s intelligence minister, Ali Younesi; former conservative president Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani’s defence minister, Mohammad Forouzandeh; and the current head of the Iranian Chamber of Commerce, Mohammad Nahavandian.

This prompted speculation that some of these figures may be included in Rouhani’s cabinet. Some reports in the Iranian media suggested that Rouhani meant to introduce his possible administration to the Majlis, the body that will have to confirm his cabinet choices with a vote of confidence.

While the president-elect was addressing legislators on Sunday evening, outgoing president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met with the supreme teader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, for the last time as president.

Ayatollah Khamenei said: “[The] president and his cabinet worked hard for eight years. Their work load has been more than all other terms, and it must be acknowledged.”

Khamenei also condemned what he called attempts by a number of foreign and domestic media outlets to undermine the government. He said: “Some even deny the administration’s concrete actions, but what matters is that the efforts and attempts be expressed and recorded.”

“Officials in other countries get benefits and holidays, but this cabinet did not ask for anything and did not demand any privileges,” Khamenei added. “I have always said, in past eight years this government promoted the slogans of the Islamic Revolution and was proud of it.”

President Ahmadinejad will be succeeded by president-elect Hassan Rouhani in August.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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