New Iranian president Hassan Rouhani 'serious' over nuclear talks

Tuesday 06 August 2013 22.23
Hassan Rouhani is ready to enter negotiations on Iran's nuclear programme
Hassan Rouhani is ready to enter negotiations on Iran's nuclear programme

Iran's new President Hassan Rouhani said he was "seriously determined" to resolve a dispute with the West over Tehran's nuclear programme.

He also said he was ready to enter "serious and substantive" negotiations on the issue.

Addressing his first news conference as president, he said the other side should realise a solution could be reached "solely through talks, not threats".

Mr Rouhani said he was confident the concerns of both sides could be removed in a short time.

Hopes for a diplomatic resolution to the nuclear issue have risen with Mr Rouhani's win over conservative rivals in June, when voters replaced hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with a cleric whose watchword is "moderation" but who is still very much an Islamic Republic insider.

The United States said it would be a "willing partner" if Iran was serious about finding a peaceful solution to the issue.

Iran's critics say that it has used previous nuclear negotiations as a delaying tactic while continuing to develop nuclear weapons-related technology - something Tehran denies.

Iran says it needs atomic power for energy generation and medical research.

More generally, Mr Rouhani said that if Washington demonstrated goodwill towards Iran and an atmosphere of mutual respect was created, the way was open for talks to remove the concerns of both sides.