Iran supreme leader endorses Rowhani for president

AP , Saturday 3 Aug 2013

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, officially endorses Iran's 7th President Hasan Rowhani as he takes office

 Iran's supreme leader has formally endorsed Hasan Rowhani as president, opening the way for the moderate cleric to take over from outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

In a ceremony broadcast live on state television Saturday, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gave his official approval for Rowhani. Khamenei, the ultimate authority in Iran, has final say in all key matters, including Rowhani's upcoming selections for key Cabinet posts such as the foreign and intelligence ministers.

Rowhani will take the oath of office in parliament Sunday.

Rouhani won a landslide victory in 14 June presidential elections. He has pledged to follow a "path of moderation" and promised greater openness over the country's nuclear program, which has placed it at odds with the West.

He replaces Ahmadinejad, first elected in 2005.

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