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Iran parliament convenes amid coronavirus pandemic

268 lawmakers were sworn in for the opening ceremony while observing social distancing regulations and some wearing optional face masks

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani yesterday called on the new Shura Council to cooperate with the government and put national interests above personal gains.

This came during the inaugural session of the 11th round of parliament following the legislative elections that took place in February.

Parliament was closed for six weeks as part of preventive measures taken to curb the coronavirus outbreak.

"I hope that during the remaining year, the government will succeed in cooperating and working together," Rouhani said, calling on MPs to place "national interests above personal, party or constituency interests".

However, Iranian journalist Fereshteh Sadeghi questioned the possibility of the new parliament cooperating with the Rouhani government.

"Hassan Rouhani again offers olive branch to new parliament, saying he doesn't seek confrontation but friendship while they have the right of investigation," she said on Twitter, adding that Rouhani "knows these rivals can't be controlled as Ali Larijani [outgoing Shura Council Speaker] did it for him in the past 7 years. God help him!"

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