European Union foreign policy chief meets with Iran's Rouhani ahead of inauguration

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, right, handed over the presidential mandate to Hassan Rouhani, left, during a ceremony broadcast on state TV Thursday.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's inauguration ceremony kicked off on Saturday evening before Majlis (parliament) lawmakers, foreign dignitaries and senior Iranian politicians, IRNA Iranian news agency reports.

The ministerial line-up is due to be officially unveiled on Saturday, but reformist allies are angry over news that Rouhani will unveil another all-male cabinet.

"We will not just stand by when the nuclear agreement is violated", he continued.

Iranian officials have said the high turnout expected at President Rouhani's second inauguration would send "an important message" to the world, especially at a time when the United States has sought to stir world opinion against the country.

"Iran will not be the first to violate the nuclear deal... but nor will it stay silent when the United States fails to respect its commitments", he told the packed parliament hall.

Iranian officials say they have prepared a 16-point document for how they will respond to the new sanctions, without giving details. He promised that Iran will pursue a "path of coexistence and interaction with the world".

Referring to the problems created by the United States in the course of implementation of the JCPOA, Iran's Foreign Minister noted that the new USA administration is seeking to prevent the Islamic Republic of Iran from enjoying the advantages of the JCPOA.

Iran says it has no such warheads and no such missiles and has put its nuclear program under enhanced global monitoring as part of the nuclear deal.

On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump signed the bill envisioning tougher sanctions against Russia, Iran and the DPRK.

It would also apply terrorism sanctions to Iran's prestigious Revolutionary Guard and enforce an arms embargo.

Rouhani stressed the importance of a strong economy in the country and said the next government eyes economic reforms.

Rouhani was first elected in 2013 with almost 51 percent of the vote.

He was met at the Tehran International Airport by Iranian Labour, Corporate and Social Services Minister Ali Rabiei, Zimbabwean ambassador to that country Nicholas Kitikiti and other embassy staff.

Rouhani also called America "a country that isn't reliable when it comes to worldwide issues".

  • Jon Douglas