Iran nuke plan pledge

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 18.06.13

Dubai, June 17 (Reuters): Iranian President-elect Hassan Rohani said today he hoped the world would grasp a new opportunity for “constructive interaction” with Iran and pledged to be more transparent about the Islamic Republic’s nuclear programme in order to see sanctions lifted.

But he said Tehran was not ready to suspend its enrichment of uranium, which the West fears is aimed at producing a nuclear weapons capability — something Iran denies. “That period has ended,” he said.

Rohani, a moderate conservative cleric, scored an emphatic and surprise election win over conservative rivals on Friday and has quickly moved to assure Iranians and the world that he will keep his pledges of better relations with other countries.

He said the new government, after his inauguration in August, would “revive ethics and constructive interaction with the world through moderation”.

“I hope that all countries use this opportunity,” Rohani told his first news conference after his election win.

Rohani, Iran’s nuclear negotiator from 2003 to 2005, said Tehran would be more transparent about its activities in the future.

“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.

Rohani also said the US must recognise Iran's nuclear rights and pledge not to interfere in its internal affairs before direct talks between the two countries can take place.

“The issue of relations between Iran and America is a complicated and difficult issue,” Rohani said. “It is an old wound that needs to be... healed.”

Conference outburst

The first news conference held by Hassan Rohani ended suddenly today when a man in the audience sprang up and shouted a slogan in favour of reformist leader Mirhossein Mousavi, held under house arrest since 2011.

“Rohani remember, Mirhossein must be (present),” the man shouted live on state television as security guards bundled him away.

Rohani left the dais and state television cut to scenes of people voting and music.