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358 words - August 5, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
On August 3 in Tehran, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has endorsed Hassan Rouhani for a four-year term in office as Iran's new president. The election of Mr. Rouhani on June 15 with 50,71% of the total votes has been welcomed as the "victory of moderation" by the international community which has been wondering if Mr. Rouhani could be this "reliable character" with whom durable solutions could be found for pending issues like Iran's nuclear program.
Close to "reformists" like former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (1989-1997), Mr. Rouhani told his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari who was in Iran to attend the oath taking ceremony that "a new era of friendly and good relations between Iran and the world, especially neighboring countries, begins." Also attending was North Korean (DPRK) Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly Kim Yong-nam who said that any Iran's victory would be DPRK's too. In line with former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's foreign policy, President Rouhani agreed that both countries share a common "anti-imperialism stance" and took his meeting with Mr. Kim as a first opportunity to criticize the West which is "always seeking a pretext" to derail "Iran's peaceful use of nuclear energy." And as a first warning to the United States, President Rouhani affirmed the Iran-DPRK relations will be "promoted during his presidency, too."
On July 2, Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu stated that President "Rouhani's true face has been revealed earlier than expected," and that if the President has changed, Iran's ambition to achieve nuclear weapons in order to threaten Israel has not. In previous remarks, President Rouhani was cited as saying that Israel "has been a wound on the body of the Islamic world for years and should be removed." With Ayatollah Khamenei as Iran's Supreme Leader, most of the analysts are inclined to agree with Mr. Netanyahu. Some of them explained, however, that such remarks by Mr. Rouhani were possibly a temporary move to garner some support from the conservatives whom he will have to deal with throughout his term.
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