TEHRAN, June 17 (RIA Novosti) – Iran's newly elected president, Hassan Rouhani, has said Tehran could open talks with the United States but only if Washington recognized Iran’s right to a nuclear program.
"Wisdom tells us that both countries, both nations, need to think more about the future and try to sit down and find solutions to past issues and rectify things," CNN on Monday quoted Rouhani as saying. "The rights of the Iranian nation, including nuclear rights, need to be recognized."
Rouhani said Iran is prepared to "see tensions alleviated," adding that any talks "should be based on mutual respect and interest and equal footing."
On Sunday, in his first press conference since being declared winner of Iran’s presidential election, Rouhani said that there were "many ways to build trust" with the West and that Iran should be "more transparent to show that its activities fall within the framework of international rules," Al Jazeera reported.
Washington earlier said it was ready to hold direct talks with Iran about its controversial nuclear program. “We, along with our international partners, remain ready to engage directly with the Iranian government. We hope they will honor their international obligations to the rest of the world in order to reach a diplomatic solution that will fully address the international community’s concerns about Iran’s nuclear program,” US Secretary of State John Kerry said last week.
Rouhani, 64, a former lead Iranian negotiator on nuclear issues, gained more than 50 percent of the votes in the country’s presidential election held on June 14.