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Iran says time for resolving nuclear dispute limited

Published: Updated:

Iran’s newly elected President Hassan Rowhani warned world powers on Tuesday that the timeframe for resolving the conflict with Tehran over its disputed nuclear ambitions is limited.

“The period of time for resolving the nuclear issue will not be limitless,” Rowhani said in an interview broadcast live on Iran’s state television, Reuters reported.

“The world must also use this period of time and this opportunity that our people created in this election. We will also use this opportunity. God willing, I am hopeful we can, step by step, solve this problem.” Rowhani added.

The Iranian president said on Tuesday he is ready to meet with the foreign ministers from some of the six powers - the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany- when he attends the U.N. General Assembly in New York this month, according to Reuters.

“In the nuclear issue the end of the game must be a win-win game. Win-lose has no meaning,” Rowhani added during his televised interview.

Iran has recently been engaged in negotiations with six world powers that have so far failed to bring about a solution to the conflict.

Western countries are mainly concerned about Iran’s uranium enrichment program and fear it may be developing a capacity to build nuclear weapons, while the Islamic Republic pledged several times its program is purely peaceful and designed to meet its energy needs.

Rouhani, who succeeded Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the country’s presidential elections last month, has promised moderation in Iran’s foreign and domestic policies and called for “constructive interaction” with the world, Reuters reported.

The Iranian President is currently remaking the foreign, nuclear and domestic policy teams in the republic in an attempt to lessen ideological rigidity in decision making.

He has taken a few steps demonstrating a shift towards more moderate and less rigid policies.

He appointed on Tuesday former Defense Minister Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani as the Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), Iranian news agencies reported.

Shamakhani, who will succeed Islamist hardliner Saeed Jalili as Security Council chief, is generally seen as aligned with the more pragmatic wing of Iranian politics, according to Reuters.

The SNSC is responsible for dictating defense and security policies under guidelines set out by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and for marshaling the country's resources to confront domestic and foreign threats.

It is expected that the SNSC's direct involvement will be reduced but not eliminated after Rouhani last week tasked the foreign ministry with taking lead on future nuclear talks Reuters reported.

Iran continues to be at odds with world power on other issues, most notably, the projected U.S. military attack against Assad’s regime for use and seizure of chemical weapons.

Iran's Deputy Minister for Arab and Foreign Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahia insisted that Iran has a proof that the chemical attack last month was launched by Syrian rebels, not government forces as the U.S. claims. He also issued a thinly veiled threat to Israel, saying that in the event of a U.S. attack on Iranian ally Syria some groups may retaliate by striking the Jewish state, according to AP.

(With AP and Reuters)