TEHERAN, 17 JUNE: President-elect Hassan Rowhani expressed hope that Iran can reach a new agreement with major powers over its disputed nuclear programme, saying a deal should be reached through more transparency and mutual trust.
Mr Rowhani, a moderate-conservative cleric who was declared winner of Iran’s presidential election on Saturday, also described as unfair and unjustified sanctions imposed against the Islamic republic over the nuclear issue. “The idea is to engage in more active negotiations with the 5+1, as the nuclear issue cannot be resolved without negotiations,” Mr Rowhani said, referring to the UN Security Council’s five permanent members plus Germany.
The 64-year-old’s victory raised hopes of an easing of strained ties with Western nations, but he used his first news conference on today to rule out a halt to his country’s controversial enrichment of uranium.
“This period is over,” Mr Rowhani said, referring to international demands for an end to the enrichment.
There were “many ways to build trust” with the West, he added, as Iran would be “more transparent to show that its activities fall within the framework of international rules.”
Mr Rowhani has previously vowed to restore diplomatic ties with the USA, which cut relations in the aftermath of the 1979 seizure of the US embassy by Islamist students.
He was helped to victory in Friday’s election with the backing of reformists, with thousands of people taking to the streets to celebrate and world powers expressing cautious optimism.
Teheran has been engaged since 2006 with the P5+1 ~ Britain, China, France, Russia and the USA, plus Germany ~ over its nuclear work.
Failure to reach an agreement in the negotiations has seen the Islamic republic repeatedly slapped with international sanctions that have hit its economy hard. “The sanctions are unfair, the Iranian people are suffering, and our (nuclear) activities are legal. These sanctions are illegal and only benefit Israel,” said Mr Rowhani, who is due to replace President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in early August.
TEHERAN, 17 JUNE: Iran’s official news agency says a criminal court has summonsed outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over a lawsuit filed by the country’s parliament Speaker and others. Today’s report by IRNA gave no further details, but Mr Ahmadinejad and the Speaker, Ali Larijani, have waged political feuds for years. ap