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Iran prepares to officially swear in new president

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Iran prepares to officially swear in new president

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After eight years in office, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has handed over the presidential reigns to his successor Hassan Rouhani, who will be officially sworn in on Sunday.

Ahmadinejad’s hardline policies will be remembered for raising tensions between the Islamic Republic and Western powers.

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has formally endorsed Rouhani.

The moderate cleric faces enormous challenges – including economic problems and political divisions. He has pledged to try and get Western sanctions over the country’s suspect nuclear programme lifted.

In the capital Tehran, people are hoping Rouhani will bring about change.

“Our demand is for more social freedoms, especially for women,” said one resident.

Another added: “As a citizen, my demand from Rouhani is to ensure economic security, to create jobs and pave the way for more foreign investment in Iran.”

Rouhani won a landslide victory in June’s presidential elections. He will take the oath of office in parliament on Sunday and is expected to unveil his proposed cabinet shortly after.