The modest ceremony held in the absence of U.S. Civil Administrator Paul Bremer was authenticated by Iraq's top judge, Midhat al-Hammoud, who read a letter officially ending the occupation of Iraq in line with U.N. Security Council resolution 1546.
"I swear in the name of God Almighty to assume my official responsibilities with honesty and dedication and to safeguard the unity, independence, and territorial integrity of Iraq and to look after the interests of its people," al-Yawer and Allawi said successively with their right hands on a copy of the Holy Koran.
After the ceremony, al-Yawer warned "the government will have to assume a difficult mission and face great challenges of restoring security to Iraq and its people."
Allawi vowed to strike with an iron fist at "the atheists and criminals who are targeting the people of Iraq and who are being supported by the remnants of Saddam's regime and his sons Uday and Qusay who went to hell."
"With the support of our Iraqi people, we will be on the watch to give those criminals the just punishment they deserve," he added.