Hasan Rouhani took the oath of office as Iranian president for the next four years at an open session of parliament Sunday attended by representatives from more than 50 countries. He was first endorsed by supreme leader Ayatollay Ali Khamenei. Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani used the occasion to deplore US attempts to revive ‘peace talks’ between Israel and Palestinians, saying such efforts are futile. Larijani said, “Today we are witnessing a repeated scene with a new outlook which reminds us of what Marx said that ‘History repeats itself: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce’.” The White House message: Should the new Iranian government engage substantively and seriously it will find a willing partner in the United States.
In his first speech, Rouhani said the only path for the international community to interact with Iran is through negotiations on equal grounds and reducing hostilities. “Do not speak with Iran in the language of sanctions but respect. Iran would not surrender to sanctions or be threatened with war.