DUBAI Aug 4 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
took the oath of office before parliament in Tehran on Sunday
and was expected later in the day to name a cabinet he said
would be chosen from figures across the political spectrum.
"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 in a
ceremony broadcast live on state television.
Rouhani, elected with a wide margin over conservative rivals
in elections in June, has pledged to pursue less confrontational
policies abroad in order to ease international sanctions on
Iran's economy over its disputed nuclear programme.
But Rouhani is very much an insider in the Islamic Republic,
having served in senior military and security roles since
shortly after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
As well as pressure from the West, Rouhani faces the huge
task of trying to fix an economy damaged by sanctions and the
profligacy of the previous government.
He also has to try to balance the demands of hardliners who
dominate parliament and the officially sidelined reformists
whose support helped him win the election.