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Iranian President Warns Against Populist Slogans

Source: RFE/RL; photos by Mohammad Mehdi Moazzen, Islamic Republic News Agency

Iran's new president has called for a foreign policy free of populist slogans. Hassan Rohani said the clear message from voters who elected him on June 14 was that they wanted a new, more rational foreign policy. Rohani was speaking at the inauguration of Iran's new foreign minister, Muhammad Javad Zarif, on August 17.

Iranian President Hassan Rohani (center) at the inauguration of Iran's new foreign minister, Muhammad Javad Zarif (right), on August 17. Former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi (left) was appointed as chief nuclear negotiator by Rohani.

He said "foreign policy is not carried out by repeating slogans," in an apparent reference to the fiery rhetoric of his predecessor, Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

He also said that reconsidering foreign policy "doesn't mean a change in principles," but that there has to be "a change of method."

He said defending the national interests has to be done "appropriately, precisely, and rationally."

Rohani has pledged to follow a policy of moderation and ease tensions with international powers.


Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and dpa

Copyright (c) 2013 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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