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Saturday, August 3, 2013

Hassan Rouhani takes over as Iran president

Iranian president-elect Hassan Rouhani in Tehran on 17 June 2013 Hassan Rouhani is due to be inaugurated as Iran's new president on Sunday

Cleric Hassan Rouhani has officially replaced Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president of Iran.

Mr Rouhani's election has been endorsed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei at a ceremony in the capital, Tehran.

He won the presidential poll in June, promising to reform and to put an end to Iran's international isolation.

The ceremony marks the handover of power, but his public inauguration does not take place until Sunday.

The 64-year-old is a former nuclear negotiator for Iran and was an Islamic activist before the 1979 Revolution.

Final say

He has the support of Iran's reform movement, which wants the new president to release political prisoners and have international sanctions lifted.

But while he may be taking over as president, he will not be Iran's main decision-maker, says the BBC's Iran correspondent James Reynolds in London.

Continue reading the main story

Hassan Rouhani

  • Born in 1948
  • Islamic activist prior to Iran's 1979 Revolution
  • Influential figure in Iran-Iraq War
  • MP (1980-2000)
  • National Security Advisor to the president (1989 -97, 2000-05)
  • Chief nuclear negotiator (2003-05)
  • Regarded as a centrist politician but favoured by reformists

In the Islamic Republic, it is the Supreme Leader, not the president, who has the final say, our correspondent adds.

The day before he took office, Mr Rouhani said Israeli occupation was an "old wound on the body of the Islamic world", as Iran marked its annual Jerusalem (Quds) Day.

His remarks echo those of other Iranian leaders on the day dedicated to supporting the Palestinians and denouncing Israel.

Iran has denied Israel's right to exist since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

In his last interview before stepping aside on Friday, Mr Ahmadinejad also attacked Israel, warning of "storm brewing" in the region that would uproot Zionism, according to AFP news agency.

Many Iranians believe Mr Ahmadinejad, elected twice in controversial polls, has put Iran on the path to economic ruin and confrontation with the outside world.

Are you in Iran? What do you think about the election of Hassan Rouhani? What would you like Mr Rouhani to focus on? You can send us your comments using the form below.

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Source : bbc[dot]co[dot]uk

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