TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad urged the country's newly-elected parliament on Sunday to stand with him against "evil ones" who he says have encircled the nation.
The president's address to the opening session of the parliament was seen as an appeal to conservative opponents who crushed Ahmadinejad's allies in voting that ended earlier this month.
"Today, evils have been mobilized from all directions to put the Iranian nation under pressure. Removing and resisting the pressures, and cooperation, are the main priority today," Ahmadinejad told lawmakers without elaboration. State TV broadcast the speech live.
Iran faces sanctions from Western nations who accuse it of trying to developing nuclear weapons technology. Iran denies the charges.
Long-stalled negotiations between Tehran and six world powers on Iran's nuclear program have recently revived, with the countries agreeing to talks in Moscow in June after earlier discussions last week in Baghdad.
Ahmadinejad and the conservatives share similar views on foreign policy, but disagree on economic issues. The president lost their support when he was perceived to challenge the supremacy of the country's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei last year.
Ahmadinejad also asked legislators not to intervene in his areas of authority. "Any effort to intervene in other's affairs will not serve the country. This is only devastating," said Ahmadinejad.
Over the past months, both the president and the parliament have blamed each other for exceeding their respective mandates.
Lawmakers say the president ignores bills passed by the parliament. Ahmadinejad says the parliament totally changes government-proposed bills.