News / Middle East

New Iranian President Wants Nuclear Deal in 3-6 Months

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani addresses the 68th United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, September 24, 2013.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani addresses the 68th United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, September 24, 2013.
VOA News
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said he wants a deal with the West on his country's nuclear program in as little as three months.

President Rouhani told The Washington Post on Wednesday that Iran is willing to take unspecified transparency measures to demonstrate that its nuclear program is peaceful.

The comments came a day before the resumption of international talks on Iran's uranium enrichment program, which many Western powers suspect is aimed at building a bomb.

Rouhani said the "only way forward" is for a timeline to be inserted into the talks. He said Tehran is open to a three- or six-month timetable, but that a quicker deal is "more beneficial to everyone."

Echoing recent comments, Rouhani insisted Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khameini has given him full authority to solve the nuclear issue. If such a deal could be reached, he said it could serve as a "beginning point" toward improving relations with Washington. The two countries have not had diplomatic relations since 1980.

Earlier on Wednesday, Rouhani explained that he did not shake hands with President Barack Obama at the United Nations this week because the timing was not right, and said that he was open to a future meeting with the U.S. leader.

Thursday will see the highest level interaction in six years between Washington and Tehran when U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attend the so-called P5+1 talks. The meeting in New York includes the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany.

The talks, which will take place on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, are seen as a key test of Iran's commitment to resolving the nuclear issue.

At his speech to the General Assembly on Tuesday, Rouhani repeated Iran's long-standing demand that world leaders recognize its right to continue enriching uranium for peaceful purposes.

The U.S. and its allies suspect the program is secretly aimed at building a bomb, and have helped implement several rounds of sanctions that have crippled Iran's economy.

U.S. officials have been welcoming of the new attitude seeming to come out of Iran, especially in comparison to Rouhani's fiery predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. However, despite the warmer sentiments, officials say they are looking for concrete actions to back up the words.

Earlier, Rouhani appeared to distance himself further from Ahmadinejad when he told reporters the Nazi Holocaust against Jews was a crime that cannot be ignored. Ahmadinejad, who completed his second term as president in August, repeatedly denied the Holocaust.

However, Rouhani also said it is important that Holocaust victims not "victimize" others -- a reference to Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid