Hassan Rouhani takes over as Iran's new president

Tehran, Aug. 4 (Xinhua-ANI): Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei officially endorsed Hassan Rouhni as the country's new president in a ceremony held here on Saturday.

The ceremony came before the inauguration of Rouhani slated to be held in the Iranian Majlis (parliament) in the presence of local and international participants on Sunday.

Rouhani won Iran's presidential election on July 14 by garnering 50.7 percent of the votes, far ahead of his five conservative-principlist rivals.

The endorsement ceremony was attended by a number of Iranian high-ranking officials, including former president Akbar Hashemi- Rafsanjani, Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as well as a number of foreign guests.

Rouhani, a moderate cleric, will succeed the outgoing hardliner Ahmadinejad and inherit from him an ailing economy and a troubled foreign policy.

In the ceremony on Saturday, Rouhani said the July-14 election showed that there was no division between the government and the people, who chose someone having served the Islamic establishment for years to be their new president.

The election indicated that the Western sanctions could not induce differences among the people, he said, adding that voters from all walks of life participated in the election, the results of which surprised many observers.

The Iranian people with different views and political stances participated in the election and showed that it was totally transparent and the democracy has been institutionalized in the country, he added.

Iran's new president expressed his gratitude to the people who took part in the election and thanked the supreme leader for guiding the country at crucial junctures.

"My mission is to safeguard the people's trust and to establish stability and security, and to help the country out of the current problems and concerns," he maintained.

He said that the people voted for "change" in the presidential election and his administration will be committed to the promises that he gave during his election campaign.

He will officially assume presidency after an inauguration ceremony in the parliament on Sunday. According to some reports, he will announce his cabinet to the parliament at the inauguration, although he has two weeks to form the government. (Xinhua-ANI)

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