Rouhani Meets Foreign Dignitaries

Top international dignitaries were in Tehran to attend President Hassan Rouhani’s swearing-in ceremony for a second term
President Hassan Rouhani (R) meets his Armenian counterpart, Serzh Sargsyan, in Tehran on August 6.President Hassan Rouhani (R) meets his Armenian counterpart, Serzh Sargsyan, in Tehran on August 6.

A series of meetings between President Hassan Rouhani and international dignitaries on Sunday, a day after they took part in his inauguration ceremony, marked the beginning of Rouhani's second consecutive term in office.

The pragmatist executive chief, who ran successfully for reelection in the May 19 presidential vote, held talks with senior officials from Armenia, Lebanon, Spain, Serbia and Belarus, among others.

Rouhani discussed the latest regional and international developments and explored avenues to expand bilateral ties with his Armenian counterpart, Serzh Sargsyan, IRNA reported.

He highlighted the strong cultural and historical similarities between the two neighbors and stressed the need to "build on these commonalities to take positive strides for the benefit of the two nations and other regional nations."

Pointing to the decades-long Nagorno-Karabakh dispute, Rouhani said, "It is very important for the Islamic Republic to ensure security across its borders and we hope that the neighboring countries, Armenia and Azerbaijan, would come up with an initiative to peacefully settle the issue."

Sargsyan called for Iran's continued help to resolve the dispute over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

The conflict began in 1988 and escalated into armed clashes after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. Sporadic tensions and border skirmishes have continued in the region despite a ceasefire signed in 1994.

Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but it is governed by the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

In April last year, a new wave of unrest erupted in the region and surrounding areas in Azerbaijan, which left at least 110 people dead.

  Source of Pride

Rouhani also sat down with Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri.

The president commended the resistance put up by the Lebanese people and army against the aggressions of Israel and the terrorist groups operating in neighboring Syria.

"The victories of Hezbollah movement and Lebanon's nation and army against the aggressors are a source of pride for the Iranian nation and all other Muslims," he said.

Hezbollah said last month its battle to eliminate members of the Jabhat Fatah al-Sham militant group from the Syria-Lebanon border was almost complete.

A new wave of tensions erupted in Beit-ul-Moqaddas in Occupied Palestine after a deadly shootout on July 14 outside the Haram al-Sharif, which Jews call Temple Mount.

Using the gunfight as a pretext, Israel set up metal detectors and surveillance cameras at entrances to the al-Aqsa compound.

The restrictive measures sparked criticism worldwide, with Palestinians saying the bans were meant to expand the regime's control over the holy site and change its status quo.

On July 24, Tel Aviv backed down in the face of protests as well as violent clashes, and removed all restrictions at the al-Aqsa compound, but tensions remain high.

"The unity among the Palestinian people and their resistance against the Zionist soldiers' disrespect for the al-Aqsa mosque and the holy al-Quds led to the victory against aggressors," Rouhani said.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints