Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Cécile Duflot ruffles some feathers

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Media accused of pro-protester bias in Ferguson

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment

Read more

FOCUS

Republicans block Obama's bid to hike minimum wage

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

  • Russian aid convoy drives into Ukraine

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu set to be Erdogan's new PM

    Read more

  • Hollande is ‘nobody’s president’ says former French minister

    Read more

  • Reporter’s IS captors taunted family, asked for €100m ransom

    Read more

  • Two US Ebola patients leave hospital ‘virus-free’

    Read more

  • US reaches historic $16.7bn settlement with Bank of America

    Read more

  • Special report: Supplying Ukraine’s soldiers on the front line

    Read more

  • Israeli air strike kills three top Hamas commanders

    Read more

  • France delivered arms to Syrian rebels, Hollande confirms

    Read more

  • Tensions high in Yemen as Shiite rebel deadline looms

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Iran's Rohani hopeful of deal on nuclear programme

Video by Alexander TURNBULL

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-06-17

Iranian president-elect Hassan Rohani pledged on Monday to follow a “path of moderation” and promised greater openness over the country’s nuclear programme in his first press conference since his election victory on Friday.

Iran’s newly elected president Hassan Rohani said on Monday he will follow a “path of moderation” and called for greater transparency on the country’s nuclear programme, but ruled out suspending uranium enrichment.

“Our nuclear programmes are completely transparent. But we are ready to show greater transparency and make clear for the whole world that the steps of the Islamic Republic of Iran are completely within international frameworks,” he said, speaking at his first press conference since his election on Friday.

He also said a new opportunity had been created for friendly relations between the Islamic Republic and the world, and he hoped all countries would take the opportunity to build friendly relations.

“Your government ... will follow up national goals ... in the path of saving the country’s economy, revive ethics and constructive interaction with the world through moderation,” he said. “I hope that all countries use this opportunity,” he said.

Nuclear sheikh

Known as the "diplomat sheikh", Rohani was Iran's top nuclear negotiator between 2003 and 2005 during the presidency of Mohammad Khatami, when Tehran agreed to suspend uranium enrichment to allay Western fears that the nuclear programme may hide military objectives.

"Chirac deal could have answered the nuclear question"

Answering a question from FRANCE 24 special correspondent Pascale Bourgaux, Rohani used a 2005 plan drawn up by Iranian officials and then French president Jacques Chirac as a potential solution to the nuclear problem.

“I think we have a lot of ways to create an atmosphere of confidence,” Rohani said. “One of them is the agreement we came to with Chirac [...] when we reached an agreement on how to create universal confidence and still continue the enrichment of uranium in Iran.

“That agreement with Mr Chirac could have been the final agreement to the nuclear question; the Germans said they were in agreement too. But unfortunately the British, under pressure from the United States, would not agree, and so the deal was not finalised.”

Promise of change

In one of his first acts after being declared winner of the vote, the 64-year-old met with supreme leader and ultimate decision-maker Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday before heading to pay homage at the mausoleum of late founder of the Islamic republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Later, speaking before a crowd of supporters, he pledged to bring about "the change" demanded by Iranians, whose lives under outgoing president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were affected by harsh international economic sanctions imposed to force Tehran to curb its controversial atomic drive.

"God willing, this is the beginning of a move that will bring the change demanded by the people in the fields of economy, culture, social and politics," Rohani said in remarks reported by the ISNA news agency.

But Iran's woes will not be resolved "overnight," Rohani said, urging the conservative-dominated parliament to pursue better "cooperation" with the government – a relationship that was soured during Ahmadinejad's era.

World watches on

Friday's election, which saw a turnout of nearly 73% of some 50.5 million eligible voters, will see Rohani succeed Ahmadinejad in early August.

Rohani defeated his divided conservative rivals by securing the backing of reformists and by promising tactful foreign policy to defuse tensions with the region and the international community, as well as more freedoms at home.

His election drew positive but guarded reaction from the international community, with the United States saying it was prepared to engage Rohani's administration in direct talks aimed at reaching a "diplomatic solution" to the nuclear standoff.

Russia, which has enjoyed better ties with Tehran than has the United States, also said it was looking forward to enhanced cooperation.

Israel, the Middle East's sole if undeclared nuclear power which has not ruled out a military strike against Tehran, saw little chance of a radical change in Iran's nuclear policy and urged the West to apply continued pressure.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)
 

Date created : 2013-06-17

  • IRAN

    Old slogans reemerge at Iran's post-electoral party

    Read more

  • IRAN

    World powers greet Rohani win with cautious optimism

    Read more

  • IRAN

    Does Iran’s ‘regime of the mullahs’ still exist?

    Read more

COMMENT(S)