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330 words - August 6, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
The new President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Dr. Hassan Rouhani, has drawn some criticism on his first day in office. Now that he has unveiled his proposed Cabinet list and obtained Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's approval, the inauguration ceremony gave him an opportunity to express his views on two main issues of Iran's foreign policy.
"I say candidly that if you want a proper response, speak to Iran not with the language of sanctions but with the language of respect," Dr. Rouhani said in first cutting remarks against what he described as West's pressure. As a "harbor of stability in (a) tumultuous region, (…) Iran has never been at war with the world," President Rouhani emphasized.
On Palestine, the recent resumption of the Israeli-Palestinian talks after months of work led by Secretary of State John Kerry will be in vain considering that "Washington, as a main supporter of (Israel), has once again hatched a new plot against the oppressed Palestinian people," a statement by Iran's Foreign Ministry – to be headed soon by Mohammad Javad Zarif – said.
On the ceremony's sidelines, President Rouhani also met with a number of top-level foreign officials. With Syrian Prime Minister Wael Al-Halqi, President Rouhani reiterated "Tehran's support for the people and government of Syria," further depicting the Syrian opposition as "terrorist groups" backed by "foreign interference." With Lebanese counterpart Michel Sleiman, President Rouhani praised Lebanon's "resistance" against "aggression and occupation."
With Iraqi Vice-President Khudair Khuzaie, President Rouhani stressed "that restoration of peace, stability and security in Iraq is the wish of Iranian government." With Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, President Rouhani said "that good ties between the two Muslim neighboring nations are crucially important to the entire region."
And with Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai, President Rouhani explained that "the Persian-speaking countries of Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan can expand comprehensive cooperation among them more than ever before."
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