Iran's new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, declared at his swearing-in ceremony today-Saturday that the Iranian nation cannot be intimidated.
Without directly mentioning the controversy surrounding his country's pursuit of nuclear technology, Mr. Ahmadinejad told parliament that Iran would respect international norms, but would never surrender to what he called "illegal requests."
In a nation where 70 percent of the population is under age 30, Mr. Ahmadinejad pledged to tackle unemployment. He also vowed to defend Iran's independence and said, "if religion is weakened, our identity will be weakened too."
A former revolutionary guard and Tehran mayor, the 49-year old president is a religious conservative. His arrival in office brings to a close President Mohammad Khatami's largely unsuccessful eight-year attempt to liberalize the government.
President Ahmadinejad has two weeks to announce his Cabinet.
Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.