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Rouhani Hopes for Quick Resolution on Nuclear Issue

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says he hopes talks with major powers on Iran's nuclear program will yield results in a short period of time.

In a news conference Friday on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Mr. Rouhani said U.S. President Barack Obama has struck a new tone that has left him optimistic about a quick settlement on the nuclear issue.

The Iranian leader said his election in June helped pave the way for better relations between Iran and the West.

He said he did not meet with Mr. Obama this week on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly because there was not enough time to plan such a meeting.

Earlier Friday, Iranian officials held talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency, their first meeting with the U.N. body since Mr. Rouhani was elected in June.

IAEA chief negotiator Herman Nackaerts called the talks in Vienna "very constructive" and said the two sides would meet again next month.

The focus of the meeting was to discuss suspicions that Iran has been taking steps to build a nuclear weapon. The IAEA wants to resume an investigation into Iran's alleged atomic bomb research.

Earlier this week, Mr. Rouhani said at the U.N. General Assembly Iran has a right to pursue a nuclear program for peaceful purposes.

Friday's meeting came a day after the U.S. and Iran held their highest-level direct talks in more than 30 years.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met for 30 minutes with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, on the sidelines of a meeting in New York aimed at resolving the standoff involving Iran's nuclear program.

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.