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Sworn in for new term, Iran's Rouhani says U.S. undermining nuclear deal

Sworn in for new term, Iran's Rouhani says U.S. undermining nuclear deal

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.

Hassan Rouhani was sworn in as Iran's President for a second term in a ceremony at the country's Parliament on Saturday.

Britain, France and Germany who signed the deal alongside Russia, China and the United States remain firm backers of the agreement and are eagerly seeking to rebuild trade ties with Iran despite logistical problems caused by USA sanctions.

During Rouhani's first term, Iran emerged from isolation in 2015 when the country struck a deal with six world powers to curb its nuclear program in exchange for lifting economic sanctions.

Rouhani is scheduled to take the oath of office before Parliament on Saturday, amid tight security measures provided by the Revolutionary Guards.

"What will be absolutely critical is how the Europeans position themselves", she said, pointing to the burgeoning trade ties with Europe and their continued backing of the nuclear deal.

About 70 delegations from foreign countries and global organisations have so far arrived in Tehran to attend the oath-taking ceremony of Hassan Rouhani as President of Iran.

Khamenei, for his part, was quoted as saying that, "Despite ongoing attempts to isolate Iran, the nation has not been isolated and continues to cooperate with the world while also challenging the hegemonic powers". The Trump administration and Congress have been busy slapping a variety of sanctions, some unprecedented, on Iran for its conglomerate of belligerence.

Of the 41 million votes cast, the Interior Ministry said, Rouhani won 23 million (or 57 per cent), soundly defeating his chief opponent, Ebrahim Raisi, who received 15.7 million (38.5 per cent).

Based on the deal, nuclear-related sanctions on various Iranian business and financial sectors were lifted, but it put more strict limits on its nuclear program.

Abbas Araghchi, foreign minister and senior nuclear negotiator, was quoted on Thursday, as saying that Iran will come up with a "smart" reaction to the last US sanctions by the state TV website.

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

Rouhani said that his main concern for the next four years would be to improve the economy of the country to promote social justice and eliminate poverty.

Amnesty International on Thursday urged European Union diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini to use a visit to Iran this weekend to demand that Tehran immediately release all imprisoned human rights activists.

Before the inauguration ceremony, Iranian officials urged European countries not to ally themselves on this issue with Trump, according to news agency reports.

Rouhani's own supporters have expressed concern over his inability to include women as ministers in his new cabinet because of pressure from religious hardliners.



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