World leaders arriving in Tehran to join Rouhani inauguration
Leaders and senior politicians from around the world are arriving in the Iranian capital, Tehran, to attend the upcoming inauguration ceremony of President-elect Hassan Rouhani.
Since Thursday, aircraft carrying as many as 30 delegations have touched down in Tehran’s Imam Khomeini and Mehrabad International Airports, with yet more scheduled to arrive.
In May, Rouhani won re-election in a landslide victory after securing 57 percent of the votes and defeating his main contender Ebrahim Raeisi, the current custodian of the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (PBUH).
The swearing-in ceremony is slated to be held (at Majlis Parliament) on Saturday.
On Thursday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei formally endorsed Rouhani as president.
Representatives from a total of 92 countries are slated to partake in the ceremony.
Most lately, Madagascar’s Parliament Speaker Jean Max Rakotomamonjy, his Cambodian counterpart Nguon Nhel, Lesotho’s King Letsie III, First Ghanaian Deputy President Alhaji Bawumia, Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, his Moldovan counterpart Igor Dodon, and Chairman of the Britain-Iran Parliamentary Friendship Group Richard Bacon have reached Tehran.
Also among the dignitaries are the President of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly of North Korea, Kim Yong-nam, and other North Korean political figures. The Islamic Republic recently designated a new building accommodating North Korea’s diplomatic mission.
Ebrahim Rahimpour, an Iranian deputy foreign minister, attended the ceremony, where he stressed the importance of expanding bilateral ties between the two sides.
He hailed Pyongyang’s support for Tehran during the1980s war imposed by the former Iraqi regime on Iran, with the two sides agreeing to ratchet up bilateral cooperation in political, economic, and cultural fields.
The other notables to have so far arrived for the inaugural ceremony include are the Lebanese resistance movement of Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary General, Sheikh Naim Qassem, Pope Francis’ Nuncio to Iraq and Jordan Alberto Ortega, and Secretariat of the UN Conference on Trade and Development’s Secretary General Mukhisa Kituyi.
Some other dignitaries are from Ireland, Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, Portugal, Malaysia, Ugandan, Guyana, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Swaziland, and Namibia.