Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has been inaugurated for a second four-year term.
Rouhani was confirmed by Parliament on Saturday, two days after he was formally endorsed by the Supreme Leader in a Tehran ceremony. The President won a surprisingly large victory over conservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi — despite support for Raisi from the Supreme Leader’s office and the Revolutionary Guards — on May 19.
Since then, there has been escalating tension between Rouhani and the Guards, particularly over challenges for Iranian recovery and the Guards’ extensive holdings in the economy. Rouhani’s brother Hossein Fereydoun has been arrested on charges of involvement in the “Payslips Scandal” of excessive salaries and bonuses for Iranian officials and managers.
But the disputes were replaced in the Iranian media today with promotion of the foreign dignitaries who attended the inauguration, with declarations of more than 70 delegations including “eight presidents, 19 parliament speakers and prime ministers, seven vice speakers, 11 foreign ministers, 35 special envoys,…12 deputy foreign ministers, six chairmen of parliamentary friendship groups, and two chairmen of foreign policy commissions”.
State news agency IRNA devotes individual articles to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani; Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe; the European Union’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini; the chairman of Uzbekistan’s Senate; Togo’s Foreign Minister; the Greek Deputy Foreign Minister; a special envoy of the Bolivian President; and other officials.