Conservative Ebrahim Raisi was Tuesday inaugurated as president of Iran, a country whose hopes of shaking off a dire economic crisis hinges on reviving a nuclear deal with world powers.
“Following the people’s choice, I task the wise, indefatigable, experienced and popular Hojatoleslam Ebrahim Raisi as president of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wrote in a decree read out by his chief of staff.
Raisi replaces moderate president Hassan Rouhani, whose landmark achievement was the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and six major powers.
From the outset, Raisi will have to tackle negotiations aimed at reviving the nuclear deal from which the US unilaterally withdrew imposing sweeping sanctions.
The 60-year-old also faces the United States, Britain and Israel’s warnings to Iran over a deadly tanker attack last week for which Tehran denies responsibility.
Raisi, in his inauguration speech, said the new government would seek to lift “oppressive” US sanctions, but would “not tie the nation’s standard of living to the will of foreigners”.
In his response, Khamenei acknowledged Iran suffered from “many shortcomings and problems,” but quickly added: “The country’s capabilities are even more numerous. “Fixing economic problems takes time and cannot be done overnight,” he said.—AFP