World Rouhani sworn in amid US-Iran friction

18:05  05 august  2017
18:05  05 august  2017 Source:   BBC News

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has been sworn in for a second term after a landslide victory over his hardline opponent in elections in May. However, ahead of the ceremony Mr Rouhani accused the US of undermining the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

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Rouhani: Mr Rouhani won 57% of the vote in May's election© Reuters Mr Rouhani won 57% of the vote in May's election

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has been sworn in for a second term after a landslide victory over his hardline opponent in elections in May.

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However, ahead of the ceremony Mr Rouhani accused the US of undermining the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

Iranian officials also urged Europe not to side with the Trump administration.

The White House says Iran is complying with the deal but Mr Trump says Iran is violating its spirit.

Last month the US announced new sanctions over Iran's missile programme and alleged support for terror groups.

Iran says US breaching nuclear deal as Rouhani starts new term

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TEHRAN: Iran ´s President Hassan Rouhani vowed to continue his efforts to end the country´s isolation as he was sworn in for a second term on Thursday by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei. “ We will never accept isolation

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Supreme Leader Khamenei (L) and Rouhani (R): Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (L) is not elected, unlike Mr Rouhani (R)© AFP/Getty Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (L) is not elected, unlike Mr Rouhani (R)

"The US's repeated violations of its commitments and the new sanctions it imposed on Iran have left a negative impact on Iran's public opinion, and can hamper implementation of the nuclear deal," the Tasnim news agency quoted Mr Rouhani as saying.

Foreign Minister Javad Zarif meanwhile told EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini that President Trump was "trying to destroy the nuclear accord at Iran's expense" and said "Europe should be conscious of this", Tasnim reported.

State media also quoted Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as asking Europe to "take a more independent policy towards Iran".

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani vowed to continue his efforts to end the country's isolation as he was sworn in for a second term, a day after US President Donald Trump signed a bill increasing sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Mr Rouhani won 57% of the vote in May's election after promising to create jobs and build bridges with the outside world.

In Iran the ultimate power lies with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He has been ruling the country for nearly three decades, increasingly like an absolute monarch.

Constitutionally he has power to lay down the general guidelines. He is commander-in-chief with the power to declare war or peace and appoint all the top generals, as well as the head of the judiciary.

Informally he has been demanding to approve ministers in several key ministries. All this leaves little to the president.

But the supreme leader is not elected - he is chosen by a group of clergymen. In May, nearly 24m people voted for Mr Rouhani - a source of power that the hardliners, even the supreme leader, cannot ignore.

Dozens of world dignitaries attended his inauguration, reflecting an easing in Iran's isolation since the nuclear deal.

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New US sanctions imposed a day before Mr Rouhani 's swearing - in were immediately condemned described by Iran as a violation of the 2015 accord — known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPAO)

Guests included Ms Mogherini and the chairman of the North Korean parliament, Kim Yong-nam, signalling a growing closeness between Tehran and Pyongyang particularly over defence matters.

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Last month, the US state department accused Iran of undermining stability, security and prosperity in the Middle East.

It criticised Iran's support for the Syrian government and groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas and accused it of prolonging the conflict in Yemen by providing support for Houthi rebels.

The state department announcement came a day after the Trump administration certified that Tehran was complying with its nuclear deal obligations.

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<p>Iran's president has warned that it could restart its nuclear programme "within hours" if the United States imposes any more new sanctions.</p>Hassan Rouhani also said the programme would be more advanced than in 2015, when Iran curbed its nuclear activities as part of a deal with world powers.

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