Aug. 3 - Moderate cleric Hassan Rouhani takes office as Iran's president, after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei endorses him. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
New leadership in Iran as Hassan Rouhani becomes President. After eight years under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, marked by diplomatic confrontation and damaging sanctions, Rouhani adopted a more moderate tone. (SOUNDBITE) (Farsi) IRAN PRESIDENT HASSAN ROUHANI, SAYING: "The country is in need of a national resolve that moves away from the extreme and extremism in policy making and governance and focus on the rule of law and upholding the law." The politically moderate 64-year-old cleric's resounding victory in June raised hopes of a negotiated end to the dispute over Iran's nuclear program and a possible easing of sanctions. IRAN's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stressed that Iran must learn to rely on itself. (SOUNDBITE) (Farsi) IRAN'S SUPREME LEADER AYATOLLAH ALI KHAMENEI, SAYING: "I want to say that regarding these pressures by the enemy - it is correct to say that they create difficulty for the people, but they also bring valuable experience both to officials and to the people. The big lesson that we have learned through these economic pressures is that we should rely on domestic production as far as we can, as much as we can, we should not set our hearts on the outside. Those that pin their hopes on the outside world and outside of the nation of Iran, will eventually face problems." Rouhani's first test is persuading Parliament to approve his list of proposed ministers, which he is expected to present on Sunday after he takes his oath of office in Parliament.