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

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid