Hassan Rohani told a meeting of clergy members on Wednesday July 3 that a strong government need not be one that intrudes into people’s private lives, adding that the Iranian people are hoping for change and development.

ISNA reports that Rohani stressed that “a strong government rises from a strong society” and he called for more public participation and less government intervention.

Rohani said that while the people are looking for this change, “there must be no division or disconnect between the clergy and the public.”

Rohani warned that “unemployment and inflation are not the exclusive concerns of the lower classes, and the middle class is also suffering from their effects.”  He went on to add that “the problems that have been exacerbated over the years cannot be solved in a matter of months.”

He pledged his commitment to his election promises and urged the clergy to assist him on this path by refraining from any form of extremism, strengthening public confidence in the government and empowering the people to face their “material and spiritual problems.”

Rohani was elected in June of this year on a platform of moderation, good administration and hope. He will take over the government from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in early August.