Europe and US on a collision course over Iran nuclear deal

Iran President Hassan Rouhani vows to end isolation as he begins his second term

A high-level delegation of Hamas leaders touched down in Tehran on Friday to pay respects at the swearing-in ceremony of Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, a further sign of rapprochement between the two after falling out over the Syrian civil war.

"The main ministers are very likely to stay in place", said Henry Smith, Iran analyst with consultancy Control Risks, told AFP.

Rouhani had won the presidential elections by a huge margin in May this year.

The US says the sanctions relate to Iran's missile programme and alleged support for terror groups but Tehran says they violate the nuclear deal.

The president also serves as second in command to Iran's top general, or amir, when it comes to military decisions.

Tehran's pursuit of ballistic missiles, controversial nuclear program, support for proxies across the Middle East and fueling sectarian strife has gained widespread attention across the worldwide community.

Mr Rouhani - being sworn in for a second term after winning presidential elections in May - said he had nothing to do with "newcomers to the world of politics" and urged "old-timers" to see the nuclear deal as an example of how to manage global relations.

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Rouhani who is embarking on his second term is expected to be sworn-in on Saturday at the parliament.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani left Kabul on Saturday morning for Tehran to take part in a ceremony of his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani, the presidential palace said.

"The enemy's hostility has made us more resistant", the supreme leader said.

National Assembly Speaker Chung Sye-kyun pointed out Iran has enjoyed positive effects, including economic growth, from the agreement on its nuclear program two years ago.

Rouhani met with European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini before the ceremony and called for greater efforts to safeguard the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers in the face of new U.S. sanctions. Among the events which Kim attended in Tehran was a dedication ceremony for North Korea's new embassy in the Iranian capital.

Iranian deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi said on state television that the country would "react appropriately" to the new sanctions. An arms embargo will be enforced and Iran's prestigious Revolutionary Guard will face terrorism sanctions. Rouhani has to announce his new cabinet members to Parliament within 14 days.

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