Iran Breaks Tradition, Invites Leaders to Rohani Inauguration

Photographer: Behrouz Mehri/AFP via Getty Images

An Iranian woman flashes the sign for victory as she holds a portrait of President Hassan Rohani during celebrations after he won the country's presidential election in Tehran, on June 15, 2013. Close

An Iranian woman flashes the sign for victory as she holds a portrait of President... Read More

Close
Open
Photographer: Behrouz Mehri/AFP via Getty Images

An Iranian woman flashes the sign for victory as she holds a portrait of President Hassan Rohani during celebrations after he won the country's presidential election in Tehran, on June 15, 2013.

Iran is inviting foreign heads of state to attend the swearing-in ceremony for new President Hassan Rohani next month, in a break with the Islamic Republic’s traditions.

“For the first time, Iran decided to invite foreign dignitaries,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Araghchi said. All nations except the U.S. and Israel are invited, he told reporters in Tehran on July 23. Iran hasn’t had diplomatic ties with the U.S. for more than three decades, and doesn’t recognize Israel. Previous events were attended by ambassadors, according to state-run Press TV.

The Aug. 4 ceremony will take place a day after Rohani’s endorsement by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the highest authority in the country. Rohani, who campaigned for more moderation in Iran’s domestic and foreign policies, was elected June 14 to succeed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Araghchi did not say why this inauguration will be different. The move may serve to illustrate Rohani’s pledge to better engage with the world after eight years under Ahmadinejad in which the Islamic republic became increasingly isolated politically and economically.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Lebanese President Michel Suleiman are planning to attend the event, Press TV reported. Syria’s Prime Minister Wael al-Halaqi, Iraqi Vice-President Khudair al-Khuzaie, and top officials from Kuwait, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar will also come, it said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ladane Nasseri in Dubai at lnasseri@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.