Hassan Rowhani to officially take over as Iran’s 7th president

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Iranian president-elect Hassan Rowhani meets the country’s supreme leader on Saturday to be endorsed as the country’s seventh president.

The 64-year-old seen as a moderate assumes Iran’s highest elected office at a 1230 GMT ceremony presided over by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

After his endorsement, Rowhani will take the oath of office in a swearing-in ceremony in parliament on Sunday.

He will then officially have two weeks to name his cabinet and the conservative-dominated parliament will have 10 days to review the list and vote on the nominees, according to AFP news agency.

Following a turbulent double-term presidency, Iran’s sixth president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will leave office.

His eight years in office were marked by showdowns with Western powers over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions and economic suffering because of international sanctions and mismanagement, as well as frequent outbursts against Israel.

Two days before his inauguration as Iran's new president, Rowhani said on Friday that Israeli occupation of Palestinian land had inflicted a “wound” on the Muslim world, according to a segment of his remarks broadcast on Iran's state-run Press TV.

An earlier report by Iran's student news agency ISNA had misquoted Rowhani as saying: “The Zionist regime is a wound that has sat on the body of the Muslim world for years and needs to be removed.”

That version echoed the fiercely anti-Israeli language of outgoing Ahmadinejad, but was swiftly repudiated by Iranian state media, which said unidentified news agencies had distorted Rowhani's remarks.

During campaigning and also after his election, Rowhani, a former nuclear negotiator, vowed to engage constructively with the international community.

He also said there would be increased transparency in Iran’s atomic activities which the West suspects have a military motive, despite repeated denials.

(With AFP and Reuters)

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