Hassan Rohani, Iran's new president, is sworn in: Dialogue, not sanctions
Moderate and conciliatory tones in his inaugural speech. His government includes technocrats and moderates with degrees from U.S. Universities. The White House says it is "a willing partner." UN sanctions and unilateral U.S. and EU sanctions means Iran's economic situation is disastrous. For Netanyahu in Tehran the president has changed not changed the country’s aim: to destroy Israel.

Tehran (AsiaNews) - Iran's new president, the moderate Hassan Rohani says that in order to obtain the desired response from his country, others will have to speak "the language of respect" and not of  "sanctions". In a speech broadcast on state television yesterday, after taking the presidential oath, Rohani stressed that it is time to "build mutual trust, mutual respect and reduce hostility." He also promised that Iran will not create any war with any country, and that will seek to reduce the economic burden of sanctions.

"The people want to live better, to have dignity and to enjoy a stable life. They want to regain their deserved position among nations," said Rohani."

The victory of the moderate Rohani on June 14th, approved by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is spreading hope for a new era of dialogue with the U.S. and the international community among Iranians, which could lead to an improvement in the economy.

For years, Iran has suffered under UN sanctions and unilateral sanctions imposed by the U.S. and EU on oil and banking for its refusal to halt a uranium enrichment program that according to the West could lead to the stockpiling of nuclear weapons. Iran has always denied that this is the purpose of the program, but has also rejected UN inspections of its sites.

The consequences for the people of Iran have indeed been bitter: a block on bank transactions, reduction in oil sales, inability to build extraction plants or refineries, 40% inflation of the national currency.

Rohani's new friendly tone is in stark contrast to that of his predecessor, Mahmud Ahmadinejad, who always attacked the United States and vowed to destroy Israel.

A sign of openness to the U.S. is also visible in the choice of some ministers. For Foreign Affairs, Rohani has appointed former ambassador to the UN, Mohammad Javad Zarif, 53, very fluent in English, with a doctorate from the University of Denver. Government Secretary goes to Mohammad Nahavandian, former head of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Mines, a graduate in economics from George Washington University. Then there are Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, Minister of Petroleum and Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh Minister of Industry, Mines and trade.

Observers point out that all the personalities of the new government are technocrats, known as moderate and with highly professional profiles.

Immediately after Rohani's speech, the White House issued a statement claiming the United States would be a "willing partner" if Tehran decides to "to engage substantively and seriously" in honoring its international obligations and works toward a peaceful solution to the nuclear issue.

Iran invited several personalities of the international community to yesterday's ceremony, except the United States and Israel. Among them, Wael al-Halqi, Prime Minister Syria, and Javier Solana, the EU foreign chief. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir was unable to attend because Riyadh would not allow his plane to fly over Saudi skies.

The harshest criticism comes from Israel, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that "The president of Iran may have been changed but the aims of the regime there have not," Netanyahu said. "Iran's intention is to develop a nuclear capability and nuclear weapons, with the aim of destroying the state of Israel".

 

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