İrem UZUN -TDO- Iran has held the opening session of its new Parliament under strict health protocols, more than three months after an election in February was swept by conservative candidates. President Hassan Rouhani, who is in the final year of his second and final term, called on MPs to place the "national interest above special interests", "party interests" or "constituency interests". Rouhani said that the government is "seeking cooperation with the parliament at this tough year." Cooperation between the two major institutions of the Islamic establishment will help defeat U.S. sanctions and contain the novel coronavirus, he added.

Iran's President described the Islamic Consultative Assembly a symbol of Islamic and religious democracy in the country and emphasized, "The term of office of the government and the Majlis is four years and short, but with cooperation we can leave a lasting memory for decades and even centuries for the people. Our basis for cooperation is the framework that the constitution has drawn and we believe that the parliament and each of its member are responsible towards the entire Iranian people”.

Besides the call for cooperation, Rouhani has been taking strong steps to fight against external threats. On Tuesday, he issued an order on implementing a new “anti-Zionist” law, which among other things makes “any cooperation” with Israel a likely capital offense. Last week, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said “The Zionist regime is a deadly, cancerous growth and a detriment to this region”. “It will undoubtedly be uprooted and destroyed.”

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