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Iranian President Warns Against Populist Slogans

Iranian President Hassan Rohani speaks during a parliament session to elect the cabinet members in Tehran on August 15
Iran's new president has called for a foreign policy free of populist slogans.

Hassan Rohani said the clear message from voters who elected him on June 14 was that they wanted a new, more rational foreign policy.

Rohani was speaking at the inauguration of Iran's new foreign minister, Muhammad Javad Zarif, on August 17.

He said "foreign policy is not carried out by repeating slogans," in an apparent reference to the fiery rhetoric of his predecessor, Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

He also said that reconsidering foreign policy "doesn't mean a change in principles," but that there has to be "a change of method."

He said defending the national interests has to be done "appropriately, precisely, and rationally."

Rohani has pledged to follow a policy of moderation and ease tensions with international powers.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and dpa