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Iran’s Rowhani says he envisages rapprochement with the West

Published: Updated:

Iran’s president-elect on Saturday expressed Tehran’s desire for “constructive interaction” with Western powers in order to create an atmosphere based on dialogue and reciprocity.

In his first live televised speech since the Iranian election, Hassan Rowhani acknowledged the growing rift between the Islamic Republic but made clear Iran will not surrender its rights.

Rowhani said, without elaborating, that he would fight for “all of Iran’s rights and the nation’s demands,” AFP news agency reported.

“Moderation in foreign policy means neither surrender nor confrontation but constructive and efficacious interaction with the world,” said Rowhani, as quoted by AFP.

“In moderation, a balance must be achieved between realism and idealism,” he added.

Iran remains at loggerheads with Western powers over its controversial nuclear program. Iran also stirred more debate after it threw its weight behind the Syrian President with the help of Lebanon’s Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy.

However, Rowhani did not mention either of these issues directly but said he would move to build trust and ease tensions after taking office on August 3.

“Interaction and dialogue will be based on reciprocity, respect and mutual interest, and seeking mutual détente," he said, according to AFP.

Iran insists its nuclear activities are aimed at civilian applications, under which it has the right to enrich uranium, whose highly enriched form can be used as the fissile core of an atomic bomb. The West and Israel suspect that the drive hides military objectives.

Rowhani who won almost 51 percent of the June 14 votes which led him to succeed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,