North Korean delegate to visit Iran

July 26, 2013 at 12:39 PM

TEHRAN, July 26 (UPI) -- The Iranian government said Friday it expected the president of the North Korean parliament to attend the August inauguration of President-elect Hassan Rouhani.

Rouhani ran as a moderate, when compared to conservative leaders he beat in June presidential elections in Iran. He replaces President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was ineligible to run because of term limits.

Kim Yong Nam, chairman of the presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of North Korea, is due to visit Aug. 4 ceremonies in Tehran for Rouhani, the semiofficial Fars News Agency reported Friday.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Araqchi said Kim was attending at the official invitation of the government.

"All the heads and high-ranking officials of the world states have been invited to the swearing-in ceremony of the Iranian president-elect," he said.

Rouhani, a Shiite cleric and former nuclear negotiator, said he'd reach out to members of the international community when he takes office next month.

Iran and North Korea are the subject of international scrutiny because of their controversial nuclear programs.

North Korea has carried out three nuclear tests since 2009 and Iran is suspected of pursuing the technology needed to manufacture a nuclear weapon.

Iran and North Korea began military cooperation in the 1980s.

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