Hassan Rouhani: Iran's new president promises advances in women's rights and calls for West to end 'language of sanctions'

Could the new president bridge the divide between Iran and the West?

Iran's new president has sparked hope for civilians across the country as he promised to advance women's rights and reduce government interference in every day life.

In his speech, Hassan Rouhani spoke of political moderation, advances in women's rights and an end to sanctions, to cheering from members of parliament.

Addressing the West, he stressed that Tehran should be treated with respect. “If you want an adequate response, you shouldn't speak the language of sanctions, you should speak the language of respect," he said.

"All of those who voted, whether they voted for me, someone else, or even if they didn't vote, all of them are Iranian citizens and have citizenship rights."

By voting for him, the people had voted "yes" to moderation and hope, he added.

He also reiterated the promise to improve the country's ailing economy he had made before the elections, by reducing inflation.

In response to his inauguration, the White House has indicated it would be a "willing partner" if Rouhani's government is willing to " engage substantively and seriously” in honoring its international obligations and works toward a peaceful solution to the nuclear issue.

Press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement that Rouhani's inauguration gives Iran a chance “to act quickly” to address international concerns about the country's disputed nuclear program.

Rouhani, 64, won in a landslide victory in presidential elections on 14 June. The moderate cleric was sworn in during an open session of parliament on Sunday in a ceremony that was broadcast live on State TV.

“In the presence of the holy Koran and before the nation, I swear to the omnipotent God to safeguard the official religion of the country and the Islamic Republic as well as the country's constitution,” he told parliament and foreign dignitaries attending the ceremony.

He replaces Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Iran's media and officials have treated Rouhani as president since Saturday, when he was endorsed by the country's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Leaders and other representatives from more than 50 countries watched Rouhani take the oath. It was the first occasion since Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution that foreign dignitaries attended the swearing-in ceremony of an Iranian president, strengthening Rouhani's stated commitment to improving the country's foreign relations.

Rouhani faces huge tasks in office, including reducing high levels of unemployment and bridging the political divisions between conservative, moderate and reformist factions.

When he registered for the 2013 presidential election, he pledged to prepare a civil rights charter, restore the economy and repair relationships with the West.

But his first challenge will be persuading parliament to approve the candidates he has chosen for cabinet positions. He has already named Bijan Zanganeh as Oil Minister and Javad Zarif as Foreign Minister.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
British author Helen Macdonald, pictured with Costa book of the year, 'H is for Hawk'
booksPanel hail Helen Macdonald's 'brilliantly written, muscular prose' in memoir of a grief-stricken daughter who became obsessed with training a goshawk
Sport
footballDefender's extra-time header in Capital One Cup semi-final sends Blues to Wembley
Life and Style
food + drink
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Manager - OTE £40,000

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This web-based lead generation ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Intervention Teacher Required To Start ASAP.

£125 - £150 per day + Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: A 'wonderful primary ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Maths Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Our client is an 11-16 mixed commun...

Recruitment Genius: PHP / Drupal / SaaS Developer

£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly developing company in...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century