Iran's new president on Sunday called on the West to abandon the "language of sanctions" in dealing with the Islamic Republic over its contentious nuclear program, hoping to ease the economic pressures now grinding its people.
President Hasan Rouhani spoke after being sworn in as president in an open session of parliament, capping a weekend that saw him endorsed by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader.
Rouhani, a moderate cleric who won a landslide victory in the June 14 presidential elections, continued his call for dialogue with the West while asking foreign powers to respect Iran in its negotiations.
"If you seek a suitable answer, speak to Iran through the language of respect, not through the language of sanctions," the president said in a speech broadcast live by Iranian state television. He later added that any negotiations would require "bilateral trust building, mutual respect and the lessening of hostilities."
Iran is under United Nations sanctions as well as unilateral Western oil and banking sanctions over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment, a technology that can be used to power reactors producing electricity or build nuclear weapons.
Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful and geared towards generating electricity and producing radioisotopes to treat cancer patients.