Iran’s new president Hassan Rouhani was sworn into office before the Iranian parliament on August 4th. The Islamic Republic’s seventh president was elected on June 14th. On August 3rd, he was formally endorsed by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
"We hope the new Iranian government will heed the will of the voters by making choices that will lead to a better life for the Iranian people.”
In a statement following the inauguration, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney congratulated the Iranian people “for making their voices heard during Iran’s election.” He said that “President Rouhani recognized his election represented a call by the Iranian people for change, and we hope the new Iranian government will heed the will of the voters by making choices that will lead to a better life for the Iranian people.”
Mr. Carney said, “The inauguration of President Rouhani presents an opportunity for Iran to act quickly to resolve the international community’s deep concerns over Iran’s nuclear program. Should this new government choose to engage substantively and seriously to meet its international obligations and find a peaceful solution to this issue, it will find a willing partner in the United States.”
In his inaugural speech, President Rohani said that Iran is seeking “dialogue” with other nations, but that it should “not be through the language of sanctions, it should be through the language of discourse and respect.”
State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf noted at a press briefing that sanctions are “a key part of the pressure” the U.S. and other countries have been putting on Iran:
“And the fact remains that the Iranian regime is in violation of its international obligations, including Security Council resolutions. So long as they remain in violation, the sanctions will remain in place."
“That being said,” said Deputy Spokesperson Harf, “when [Iran’s leaders] are ready to engage substantively with the U.S. government, we are also ready to do so.” She too expressed hope that President Rouhani would act quickly on the new opportunity his election has provided “to reach a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear program.”