1106 GMT March 18, 2018
The magnificent swearing-in ceremony of President Hassan Rouhani marked the climax of a procedure which began with the May 19 presidential election.
Presidential elections in Iran are a unique or at least rare event in the world which include three steps and convey various messages.
The first step is the election of the president through people’s direct votes which manifests democracy.
The second step is the endorsement of the president by the Leader which depicts the Islamic nature of the establishment.
The third step pertains to the president’s swearing-in ceremony which is held in the Parliament in attendance of senior Iranian officials and top foreign figures. This shows that the international community recognizes the Islamic establishment.
The inauguration ceremony conveyed the message that Iran is keen to cement its international ties and establish constructive interaction with the world. It also stressed that the international community should replace Iranophobia with friendship ties.
With the participation of high-ranking parliamentary and diplomatic delegations, along with representatives of international and regional organizations in Rouhani’s inauguration ceremony, Tehran was turned into the diplomatic capital of the world and stole the limelight.
Such huge participation conveyed some important messages.
1- The world will revere the presidential election and the president and endorse the chief executive.
2- The religious democracy in Iran has been stabilized and accepted by the world’s public opinion and states.
3- Some 24 million people voted for Rouhani which indicates that the Iranian nation has welcomed the president’s moderate and reformist approach in his first four-year term. This approach has also won praise from the international community.
4- The huge participation of foreign delegations in Rouhani’s swearing-in ceremony heralded that anti-Iran policies and Iranophobia orchestrated by extra-regional and regional adversaries of the Islamic Republic have failed.
5- On the one hand, the presence of the delegations indicated that the Rouhani government’s foreign policy has been successful. On the other hand, it showed that the international community is interested in the continuation of such polices by the Islamic Republic.
6- The JCPOA and the country’s successful foreign policy had yielded fruitful results in the current sensitive and crucial juncture. Despite huge pressure exerted by Israel, the plots hatched by Iran’s regional adversaries as well as the US sanctions and threats, scores of high-ranking foreign delegations attended Rouhani’s inauguration ceremony. They said ‘NO’ to Iranophobia and anti-Iran policies.
7- Iran has always sent and will send the message of friendship, collective security, shared development and prosperity to all nations. The Islamic Republic will give a friendly and due response to the countries willing to establish amicable ties with Tehran. This was the message of Rouhani’s swearing-in ceremony to the international community.
8- Rouhani’s endorsement by the Leader and his inauguration manifest the Islamic Republic’s soft power.
The successful presidential elections, the huge turnout in the race, the victory of Rouhani with 57 percent of the votes, and all-out support lent to him by security and military organizations which were followed by the inauguration ceremony manifest such a soft power and its effects on the world.
This soft power has prompted the world to respect the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Iran should spare no efforts to boost its soft power along with promoting its military might.
· Bahram Qassemi is Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman