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Raisi says Iran’s nuke programme ‘peaceful’

Iran supports and welcomes any diplomatic proposal for the lift of sanctions, he said.

IANS | Tehran |

Newly-appointed Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has said that his country’s nuclear programme is “peaceful”.

According to the decree by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran forbids nuclear weapons and this weapon has no place in Tehran’s defence strategy, Xinhua news agency quoted Raisi as saying while addressing lawmakers in Parliament on Thursday shortly after he was sworn in.

He dismissed the policy of pressure and sanctions, saying that it will not cause the Iranian people to give up their legal rights.

Iran supports and welcomes any diplomatic proposal for the lift of sanctions, he said.

Raisi, also a former Chief Justice, also noted that “the most important and main priority of his foreign policy is to improve relations with neighbouring countries”.

“I extend my hand of friendship and brotherhood to all the countries of the region, particularly to the neighbours,” he said.

Raisi was elected as the country’s eighth President on June 18 and formally assumed office after the Supreme Leader’s decree on Tuesday.

During his swearing in ceremony, which was broadcast live on the state TV, Raisi also vowed to protect the borders and political, economic and cultural independence of Iran.

Iranian lawmakers and guests from more than 70 countries attended the ceremony.

According to Iranian regulations, the President has two weeks after the swearing in ceremony to introduce the cabinet and the ministerial plan to Parliament for one-week evaluation.

Local media reports have said that Raisi will probably introduce his cabinet by Sunday.

Raisi won the presidential election held on June 18 by a landslide with over 17.8 million votes.

He has formerly held several other posts in the country judicial branch following the 1979 Islamic Revolution.