New hard-line Iranian president sworn in
Iran’s new president, Ebrahim Raisi, was sworn in to office on Thursday after winning the office in June.
Raisi, a hard-liner protégé of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, gave a speech to parliament broadcast on state television and used the opportunity to rail against U.S. sanctions, Reuters reported.
“In the presence of the holy Koran and before the nation, I swear to the omnipotent God to safeguard the official religion of the country and the Islamic Republic as well as the country’s constitution,” Raisi said.
“The Iranian people expect the new government to improve their livelihoods. … All illegal U.S. sanctions against the Iranian nation must be lifted,” he added.
The ceremony for Raisi was scaled back due to a coronavirus surge in the country, according to The Associated Press.
His swearing-in solidifies the loyalty of all government branches in Iran to Khamenei and anti-Western sentiments.
Iran and Western countries are in talks to reimplement the 2015 nuclear deal but are struggling as the U.S. refuses to drop sanctions until Tehran abides by the limitations placed on it in the original agreement.
Iran broke the boundaries of the Obama-era deal after former President Trump took the U.S. out of it in 2018.
Tensions are also high after U.S. officials blamed Iran for an attack on an Israeli-linked Mercer Street oil tanker last week. Iran denied involvement in the attack.