Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani warned the US against tearing up the nuclear deal as he was inaugurated for a second term Saturday, but he also faces challenges closer to home amid accusations he is rolling over to conservatives.
Rouhani met with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini before the ceremony and called for greater efforts to safeguard the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers in the face of new US sanctions.
“Iran will not be the first to violate the nuclear deal… but nor will it stay silent when the United States fails to respect its commitments,” he told the packed parliament hall.
“Iran has proved that it will respond to respect with respect, and to sanctions and threats with an appropriate response and with resistance,” he added.
Some of Iran’s older friends, including Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, also attended the ceremony which came two days after Rouhani was officially sworn in by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The emir of Qatar, which has fallen out with its Gulf allies in part over ties to Iran, was notably absent, despite attending Rouhani’s last inauguration in 2013.