(Tehran) The new Iranian President Ebrahim Raïssi was sworn in in front of parliament on Thursday, affirming that he was open to “any diplomatic plan” for lifting the sanctions that are undermining the country’s economy, while warning that Iran will not give in become “pressure and sanctions”.
Posted on Aug 5, 2021 at 7:37 am Updated at 3:11 pm
Karim ABOU MERHI and Amir HAVASI Agence France-Presse
The record-breaking winner of the presidential election in June, the religious, former head of the judiciary and ultra-conservative for 60 years, succeeds the moderate Hassan Rouhani, who in 2015 concluded an agreement on Iranian nuclear power with the great powers after years of tension .
On Thursday, the President’s inauguration ceremony in Parliament, which was broadcast live on state television, focused on one of the priorities of his mandate: lifting the sanctions imposed on Tehran in 2018 by former US President Donald Trump.
Mr Trump had unilaterally pulled the United States out of the international nuclear deal that had been concluded three years earlier. In response to the American withdrawal, Tehran had gradually withdrawn from the pact.
“The sanctions against the Iranian nation must be lifted. We will support any diplomatic plan that achieves this goal, ”said Raïssi, assuring that the Iranian nuclear program is“ peaceful ”.
Nonetheless, he affirmed: “The policy of pressure and sanctions will not prevent Iran from defending its rights”.
On Tuesday, Raïssi warned that his government would try to lift “suppressive” sanctions but “would not tie the nation’s standard of living to the will of foreigners. “
Shortly after Raisi took office, the United States called for a “quick” resumption of negotiations that began in Vienna in April to reintegrate the United States into the nuclear deal and to return Iran to its obligations in return for lifting US sanctions.
“We urge Iran to get back to the negotiating table quickly,” said US diplomacy spokesman Ned Price, adding that it was an “urgent priority” for Washington. “We hope that Iran will now take the opportunity to find diplomatic solutions. “
Mr Raïssi took office at a time when the Viennese negotiations seemed to have stalled in the last few weeks, but also in a tense environment following a recent fatal attack on an oil tanker off the coast of Oman.
The United States, Britain and Israel accuse Iran of leading them and have warned them. Tehran denies responsibility.
About 80 high-ranking foreign officials were present during the swearing-in ceremony, including the presidents of Iraq and Afghanistan, parliamentarians from Russia, Syria and South Africa, according to the television program.
Representatives of the European Union, including Enrique Mora, who leads the talks on Iranian nuclear power in Vienna for Brussels, also came.
Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of the Palestinian Hamas, was also present.
Tehran “will stand by the side of the oppressed”, Raïssi promised, be it “in the heart of Europe, in America or in Africa, in Yemen, Syria or Palestine”. “We are the real defenders of human rights,” he said.
Improving Iran’s relations with its neighbors will be one of his government’s priorities, he said. “I extend the hand of friendship and brotherhood to all countries in the region, especially our neighbors.”
Iran will only use its “capacities” to “take action against the threats of tyrannical powers” in the region, he added, without further explaining his position.
In front of Parliament, the President took the oath, affirming that he would devote himself to the service of the people, the honor of the country, the spread of religion and morality, and the support of truth and justice. “
On Tuesday he recognized “gaps and problems within the country” that weigh on the economy, also weakened by “the hostility”.
The COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating the economic crisis triggered by the US sanctions: Iran is the country most severely affected by the virus in the Middle East.
As of Thursday, the country of 83 million people recorded 434 coronavirus-related deaths and more than 38,000 new cases after crossing the symbolic threshold of four million infections the previous day – including 92,000 deaths.
During his tenure, Mr. Raïssi will “face multiple lawsuits,” including “unprecedented inflation,” “sky-high house prices,” “recession” and “corruption,” said the editor of ultra-conservative newspaper Kayhan on Wednesday.
The head of state will introduce his candidates for ministerial posts next week, according to television. Raïssi promised that this new government will be based on a “national consensus”.