0759 GMT September 18, 2021
Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi on Tuesday was formally endorsed by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution to become Iran’s eighth president.
“Following the people’s choice, I task the wise, indefatigable, experienced and popular Hojjatoleslam Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi as president of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei wrote in his decree read out by his chief of staff at a ceremony in Tehran attended by state and military officials.
In the decree, the Leader called on the new president to work toward activating the country’s capabilities and paving the way for a leap forward in all sectors, placing special emphasis on the economy.
“Today, our dear country is thirsty for service, and is ready for a leap in all fields, in need of a management system that is competent, vigilant, knowledgeable and courageous, which will be able to mobilize the evident and latent capacities of the nation, especially the youths, which are far beyond the problems, and bring them to the arena of constructive work and effort,” read the decree.
A type of management is needed that can bring these capabilities into the field for constructive work and endeavor, eliminate obstacles in the way of production, seriously pursue policies for strengthening the national currency, and empower the middle and lower classes of society that are shouldering the burden of economic problems, it added.
Raeisi, a former Judiciary chief, replaces moderate president Hassan Rouhani, whose landmark achievement was the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and six major world powers.
The 60-year-old conservative, in his inauguration speech, said the new government would seek to lift “cruel” US sanctions, but would “not tie the nation’s standard of living to the will of foreigners”.
The 2015 deal saw Iran accept curbs on its nuclear program in return for an easing of sanctions.
But then US president Donald Trump withdrew from the accord three years later and ramped up sanctions, prompting Tehran to pull back from most of its nuclear commitments a year later in retaliation.
Trump's successor Joe Biden has signaled his readiness to return to the deal and engaged in indirect negotiations with Iran alongside formal talks with the accord's remaining parties – Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia.
“We believe the people’s economic position is unfavorable both because of the hostility of our enemies and because of the shortcomings and problems inside the country,” Raeisi said.
He described the June 18 election as a manifestation of religious democracy in the Islamic Republic.
Through their participation in the election, Raeisi said, the Iranian people sent a message that they are demanding “change, justice as well as a fight against corruption, poverty and discrimination.”
Raeisi pointed out that the people’s trust in the government has been hurt more than their livelihoods, adding that by voting, they demonstrated that they want the new government “to restore that trust and reduce the gap with the public”.
A strong relationship between the nation and the administration is the key to resolving problems and helping the country stand against enemies, he said.
Quick formation of cabinet
Delivering a speech at the event after the president, Ayatollah Khamenei said Iran suffered from “many shortcomings and problems,” but added: “The country’s capabilities are even more numerous.Fixing economic problems takes time and cannot be done overnight,” he said.
Ayatollah Khamenei advised Raeisi to make efforts to realize the “Popular Government” slogan, under which he campaigned for election, and maintain a close relationship between the government and the people.
The Leader further called for a swift formation of the government, adding that “the country’s conditions do not warrant a delay” in the process.
Tuesday’s ceremony marked Raeisi’s formal accession to the office of president. He will next be sworn in before Parliament on Thursday, when he is to submit his proposed government lineup.
Seyyed Nezamoddin Mousavi, a member of the Iranian Parliament’s Presiding Board, told reporters on Monday that 115 officials from 73 countries will take part in the swearing-in ceremony.
The list includes 10 heads of state, 20 parliament speakers, 11 foreign ministers, 10 ministers, as well as special envoys, deputy parliament speakers and chairmen of parliamentary commissions and parliamentary delegations, the lawmaker said.
The heads of 11 international and regional organizations and the representative of the UN chief, along with officials from the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the European Union (EU), the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) and the D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation, also known as Developing-8, have been invited to the event.
Mousavi said 170 domestic and foreign journalists have also received invitations to provide coverage of the event.
AFP and Press TV contributed to this story.