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Iran's Rouhani to take office

CNC report from Tehran
Added On August 6, 2013

Hassan Rouhani, Iran's president-elect, will take office on Sunday.

The mid-ranking cleric has met Iran's supreme leader to be endorsed as the country's seventh president.

After Rouhani's surprise election win in June, the 64-year-old cleric will assume Iran's highest elected office at a ceremony presided over by the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Seen as a moderate, Rouhani is believed to seek better relations with the West.

According to Hua Liming, a senior reseacher of China Institute of International Studies or CIIS, Tehran has no other choices but to do so, in order to alleviate the economic sufferings due to sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic.

"The last round of sanctions from the U.S. and other western countries really has harmed Iran, because Iran cannot export its oil energy to the outside world. And many buyers, big buyers, like Japan, China, India and Turkey, under the great pressure of the US, reduced their import from Iran. And the oil income is declining greatly and Iran cannot do trades with the outside world."

Rowhani will succeed the radical Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose eight years in office were marked by showdowns with Western powers over Tehran's nuclear moves.

Hua Liming thinks that under the heavy pressure by the west powers,  the new leader will find the middle ground to negotiate with the West. But it's impossible for Rowhani to suspend the nuclear enrichment program.

"He is moderate. He will try very hard to change the way to negotiate with the US and five plus one in nuclear talks, To make some concessions for Iranian nuclear program. We remember in 2013, when he was the Iranian negotiator for Iran nuclear issue, he was the man who agreed to sign the protocol NPT and suspended the Iranian uranium enrichment. But now of course Iran is not in the position to suspend nuclear program. But I think he is a flexible man and he will find some ways to talk and negotiate with the West.

"Now after 8 years, Iran's nuclear capability is quite different. It has developed so much. So remember Rohani, in his first press conference after his election, he said, the days when the Iran suspend nuclear enrichment are over. So I think he will not make concession so big to suspend Iran's nuclear enrichment. But he will find ways to make other concessions to the five plus one, and try to find a way to reduce the sanction against Iran."

The former nuclear negotiator said there would be increased transparency in Iran's atomic activities.

In the past decade, the West has suspected Iran's nuclear activities have a military motive, an accusation repeatedly denied by Teheran.

After Sunday's oath-taking before parliament, he'll then officially have two weeks to name his cabinet.

The conservative-dominated parliament will have 10 days to review the list and vote on the nominees.