Hassan Rouhani gets Iranian supreme leader's nod

  • 04/08/2017
Hassan Rouhani
Hassan Rouhani won the endorsement of Iran's supreme leader for his second term as president after an easy election win. Photo credit: Reuters

Hassan Rouhani has won the endorsement of Iran's supreme leader for his second term as President after an easy election win.

Under Mr Rouhani's watch, Iran emerged from international isolation in 2015 when it struck a deal with six world powers to curb its disputed nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of financial and economic sanctions.

But his quest to boost fragile relations with the West into financial infusions to rebuild Iran's oil-based economy has been slowed by investors' fears of pre-existing US sanctions, and suspicions among powerful followers of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of any rise in Western influence.

Mr Khamenei, who has the last word on all major issues of state, formally endorsed Mr Rouhani as President in a ceremony broadcast live on state television on Thursday (NZT) after the pragmatist romped to re-election on May 19.

Addressing religious, military and political leaders, Mr Khamenei prayed for "the success of a worthy person".

Mr Khamenei again called for economic self-sufficiency and a "resistance economy", a stance arising from his repeated criticism of the halting pace of economic recovery since most international sanctions on Iran were lifted early last year.

Mr Rouhani will be sworn in on Saturday and will have two weeks to present his cabinet to parliament for a vote of confidence.