News / Middle East

Rouhani: Iran Has Right to Peaceful Nuclear Program

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani waits to address the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters. Sept. 24, 2013
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani waits to address the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters. Sept. 24, 2013
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said that he is open to a transparent and immediate dialogue with the United States and the West about Iran's nuclear program.

Addressing the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, Rouhani also reiterated his country's long-held position that Iran has a right to pursue a peaceful nuclear program, including the enrichment of uranium. He added that nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction have no place in the Iranian doctrine, and that international sanctions have hurt Iran's economy and the Iranian people.

Rouhani's speech marked his first appearance on the world stage after his election in June, which seems to have spurred new diplomatic outreach from Iran's ruling establishment.

He told CNN "the environment is changing" because the Iranian people want a new era of relations with the world. Rouhani also said he brought "peace and friendship from Iranians to Americans."

Earlier in the day, U.S. President Barack Obama told the General Assembly that he is directing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to pursue a diplomatic agreement regarding Iran's nuclear program. Obama said he firmly believes that "the diplomatic path must be tested."

A speculated-about encounter between Rouhani and Obama did not take place on the sidelines of the General Assembly on Tuesday. A U.S. official said the Iranians were not ready to have an encounter at the presidential level just yet, and that such a meeting would prove too complicated for the Iranian delegation.

No meeting had been scheduled between the two leaders, but U.S. officials had not ruled out the possibility of an encounter.

U.S. and Iranian government heads have not met since before the 1979 Islamic revolution that toppled the U.S.-backed Shah.

Iran has long insisted its nuclear program is peaceful. The U.S. and some of its allies disagree, and have helped impose several rounds of sanctions that have battered Iran's economy over the issue.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid