Iran’s new President Hassan Rowhani called Saturday for a foreign policy free of damaging sloganeering as Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif took office.
Rowhani said the clear message from voters, who gave him a surprise election victory over five conservatives on June 14, was that they wanted a new, more rational foreign policy.
Rowhani — a moderate cleric and former nuclear negotiator — has made easing the Western sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy through more constructive diplomatic engagement his signature platform.
Rowhani has said he is ready to hold “serious” talks with the major powers without delay to allay Western concerns about Iran’s nuclear programme.
Western governments suspect that the programme is cover for a drive for a nuclear weapons capability, despite Tehran’s repeated denials.