Sworn in for a further term as Iran’s President on Saturday, Hassan Rouhani has lashed out at the United States, accusing it of trying to undermine Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.
Rouhani, decisively re-elected in May after promising to open Iran to the world and create more jobs, also urged European countries not to side with Washington.
A host of foreign dignitaries including senior European figures attended the ceremony which comes after the US Senate voted to impose new sanctions on Iran, targeting its missile programme, as well as human rights issues.
Iran has said the sanctions break the terms of the nuclear deal and has vowed a “proportional” reaction.
Rouhani said the presence of such figures as European foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini showed that Europe was determined to expand ties with Tehran despite US pressures.
“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,” Rouhani was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency in advance of the ceremony.
The deal he championed with the United States and five other major powers in 2015 led to the lifting of most sanctions against Iran in return for curbs on its nuclear programme.
Rouhani has intensified efforts to protect the deal – the biggest achievement of his first term – against Washington’s return to an aggressive Iran policy since US President Donald Trump took office.
Other global figures attending included Iraqi President Fuad Masum and the president of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani.
Rouhani’s powers are limited by those of Iran’s unelected Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who outranks him.