Rouhani stresses latitude to solve nuclear issue

Thu Sep 19, 2013 08:43:48

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said that Tehran enjoys political latitude to solve the nuclear issue completely.

Rouhani stated in a Wednesday interview with NBC News that Iran will never develop nuclear weapons and that he has the clout to make a deal with the West on the disputed nuclear program.

“In its nuclear program, this government enters with full power and has complete authority,” Rouhani told Ann Curry, NBC News national and international correspondent and anchor at large, in his first interview with a US news outlet since his election.

“The problem won't be from our side,” he said at the presidential compound in Tehran. “We have sufficient political latitude to solve this problem.”

Asked whether Iran would ever build a nuclear weapon, Rouhani noted that the country has repeatedly pledged that “under no circumstances would we seek any weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, nor will we ever.”

“We have never pursued or sought a nuclear bomb, and we are not going to do so,” he said. “We solely are looking for peaceful nuclear technology.”

On another pressing topic, Rouhani was questioned about his views on Syria and its promise to give up chemical weapons under UN supervision.

“We are not the government of Syria,” he told Curry when asked about the chemical weapons handover. “We are one of the countries of this region which is asking for peace and stability and the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction in the entire region. “

Asked whether he thought President Barack Obama looked weak when he backed off the air-strike threat, Rouhani replied, “We consider war a weakness.  Any government or administration that decides to wage a war, we consider a weakness.  And any government that decides on peace, we look on it with respect to peace.”


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