President Rouhani starts his second term in Iran
Tehran, Iran - Moderate cleric Hassan Rouhani was to be inaugurated for a second term as Iranian president in front of foreign guests on Saturday.
Among the guests were EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who has vowed to continue building ties with Iran despite mounting pressure from the United States to keep the Islamic republic isolated.
Meeting with Mogherini before the ceremony in parliament, Rouhani called for greater efforts to uphold the 2015 nuclear deal struck by Tehran and world powers in the face of new US sanctions passed last week.
“Repeated breaches of commitments by the US administration...can be destructive,” he said, quoted by the official IRNA news agency.
“All sides have a heavy responsibility to safeguard this agreement which was achieved by a lot of effort.”
Some of Iran’s older friends, including Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, also arrived for the ceremony, which came two days after Rouhani was officially sworn in by the country’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
But among Iranians, the real attention was on who would be named to Rouhani’s new cabinet.
He has already been barraged with criticism over indications that women would again be entirely absent.