TEHRAN, Iran – Iran’s new president said Saturday that his countrymen elected him to change the country’s foreign policy and shift away from the bombastic style adopted under his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Hasan Rouhani said his government will adjust its tactics to reach out to world powers.
“We don’t have the right to use foreign policy to chant slogans or clap,” Rouhani said.
“Foreign policy is not where one can speak or take a position without paying attention,” he said during the inauguration of Iran’s new foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif. “People in the June 14 elections declared that they want a new foreign policy,” the official IRNA news agency quoted him as saying.
Rouhani has pledged to follow a policy of moderation and easing tensions with the outside world. He has also vowed to improve an economy ravaged by international sanctions and mismanagement by empowering technocrats.
He won a landslide victory in June 14 presidential elections, defeating his conservative rivals. Rouhani took the oath of office on Aug. 4 and Iran’s parliament approved all but three of his proposed ministers Thursday.
The core of Rouhani’s team includes figures whose academic pedigrees run through places such as California, Washington, Paris and London. Rouhani himself studied in Scotland, while Zarif is a U.S.-educated veteran diplomat with a doctorate in international law and policy from the University of Denver.