Kurdistan president arrives in Iran to attend Ebrahim Raisi’s swearing-in ceremony

Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani arrives in Tehran to attend the swearing-in ceremony of President-elect Ebrahim Raisi, August 5, 2021. (KRP photo)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani arrived in Tehran on Thursday to attend the swearing-in ceremony of President-elect Ebrahim Raisi, according to the Region’s presidency. 

Raisi takes oath before parliament on Thursday, with Iran facing an economy battered by U.S. sanctions, a grinding health crisis and thorny negotiations on the 2015 nuclear deal.

The Region’s president “is to visit the Islamic Republic of Iran on Thursday to attend the oath taking ceremony of Iran’s incoming President Mr. Ebrahim Raisi, in the capital city of Tehran,” the presidency said in a statement.

He headed a delegation including chief of staff, minister of endowment and religious affairs, minister of culture and youth and minister of labor and social affairs, the statement read.

An Iraqi delegation led by President Barham Salih which arrived in Tehran earlier will also attend the ceremony, according to Iraqi media.

The former judiciary chief officially began his four-year mandate on Tuesday after he was inaugurated by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Raisi takes over from moderate Hassan Rouhani, whose landmark achievement during his two-term presidency was the 2015 agreement between the Islamic republic and six world powers.

The country has been grappling with a deep economic and social crisis following former president Donald Trump’s decision to unilaterally withdraw the United States from the deal in 2018 and reimpose crushing sanctions.

“We believe the people’s economic position is unfavorable, both because of the hostility of our enemies and because of the shortcomings and problems inside the country,” Raisi said on Tuesday.

His new government would seek to lift “oppressive” sanctions, but would “not tie the nation’s standard of living to the will of foreigners”, he added.

*This story was updated at 12:30 p.m. EBL time

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