Rouhani Inauguration: 2nd Term and The Road Ahead

Rouhani Inauguration: 2nd Term and The Road AheadRouhani Inauguration: 2nd Term and The Road Ahead

President Hassan Rouhani promised that in his second term, Iran will pursue a path of coexistence and interaction with the world.

Rouhani, 68, was speaking on Saturday evening in parliament in downtown Tehran, after taking the oath of office for another four years as chief executive.

The inauguration ceremony for the centrist cleric who earned a 24-million-vote mandate in the May vote was broadcast live on state television.

"Promoting constructive interaction with the world, deepening bonds with neighboring and regional countries, and developing cooperation with friendly states are not only an informed choice but also a necessity to improve international peace and security," he said.

"Overcoming dangerous threats and complicated developments in the current state of flux is not possible, except through increased contacts and interaction and establishment of dialogue with governments and nations."

Before Rouhani's speech, Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani and Judiciary Chief Sadeq Amoli Larijani delivered addresses, in which they hailed the 73% voter turnout in the May election as a testimony to the sustenance of democracy in the Islamic Republic.

His second swearing-in was a more high-profile event than his first, as over 700 Iranian guests and 500 foreign dignitaries representing some 100 countries and international organizations attended the ceremony.

Earlier on Saturday, Rouhani discussed bilateral relations with EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, Iraqi President Fuad Masum, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Speaker of South Korea's National Assembly Chung Sye-kyun.

Cabinet in the Making

The proposed lineup of Rouhani's second Cabinet is to be unveiled within two weeks of the oath-taking ceremony.

Rouhani was expected to announce his 18 ministerial nominees to the parliament for a vote of confidence after the inauguration, but Vice President for Parliamentary Affairs Hosseinali Amiri announced earlier on Saturday the list has not been finalized yet.

The Cabinet makeup is a hot topic in political circles and Iranian media is abuzz with speculations about who will leave the government and who will stay on.

Among those expected to have the highest chance of being trusted by the president for another term are Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh, Health Minister Hassan Qazizadeh Hashemi, Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi, Agriculture Minister Mahmoud Hojjati, Labor Minister Ali Rabiei, Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli and Sports Minister Masoud Soltanifar.

Rouhani has been particularly reticent about his picks, but he has revealed some clues on his thinking by vowing a "young" and "inclusive" Cabinet.

His first Cabinet in 2013 was the oldest in the history of Islamic Republic, with an average age of 57.

After Rouhani submits his list of ministers, the lawmakers will have one week to examine their credentials.

Afterwards, aspirants will appear before parliament to outline their plans in the hope of securing confirmation votes.

On Thursday, Rouhani received the seal of approval from the Leader of Islamic Revolution in an endorsement ceremony.

Speaking in the event, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei urged the president to make efforts to ease the livelihood problems of people as his foremost priority, work toward broadening relations with other governments and nations, and stand strongly against the bullying of arrogant powers.

In the Thursday ceremony, Rouhani described his main agenda as "increasing production and employment", saying his government plans to bring about an "economic revolution".

Rouhani also made a call for unity, saying it is time to act in unison to advance Iran.

"I extend my hand to all those who seek the greatness of the country," he said.

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