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New Iranian President Wants Nuclear Deal in 3-6 Months

Iran's new centrist president, Hassan Rouhani, says he wants a nuclear deal with the West in three to six months.

In an interview with The Washington Post newspaper Wednesday, Mr. Rouhani said the only way forward is to insert a timeline into the nuclear talks. He said the shorter it is, the more beneficial it is for all sides.

Earlier, in informal talks with Western reporters in New York, Mr. Rouhani condemned the Nazi Holocaust against Jews in World War II, saying it is something that cannot be ignored.

He appeared to be distancing himself from the last Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who repeatedly denied the Holocaust.

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



U.S. and Iranian officials had anticipated a handshake and brief meeting in New York Tuesday between Mr. Rouhani and President Barack Obama. Mr. Rouhani said the encounter did not happen because he said the timing was not right and too much is at stake.

The Iranian president said he is not opposed to meeting Mr. Obama at a later date, but that both countries have to be careful in thawing more than 30 years of frozen relations.

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US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) gestures waiting for the opening of a plenary session with P5+1 ministers, European Union and Iranian minister on Iran nuclear talks at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland, March 31, 2015.

Multimedia Iran Nuclear Talks Extended to Wednesday

Negotiators hash out how length of prospective deal, how quickly sanctions would be lifted, and what to do if Tehran violates terms More