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White House: Iran overtures ‘clearly not sufficient’

Published: Updated:

The United States welcomed on Friday Iran’s pledge for openness but warned that is was “clearly not sufficient” dispel concerns about Tehran’s nuclear program.

White House Spokesman Ben Rhodes said Washington believes there is a window of opportunity to resolve the stand-off diplomatically, but U.S. President Barack Obama would not meet his Iranian counterpart at the U.N. General Assembly next week, AFP reported.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei called early this week for what he called ‘heroic leniency’ with the West.

On Friday, Iranian President Hassan Rowhani wrote in a column published by the Washington Post that the Islamic Republic is committed to helping overcome its common challenges with the West through dialogue.

But Rowhani signaled his pledge to follow an approach of openness with the West does not mean giving up Iran’s nuclear rights.

“A constructive approach to diplomacy doesn’t mean relinquishing one’s rights. It means engaging with one’s counterparts, on the basis of equal footing and mutual respect, to address shared concerns and achieve shared objectives,” President Rowhani wrote in a column in The Washington Post.

“In other words, win-win outcomes are not just favorable but also achievable. A zero-sum, Cold War mentality leads to everyone’s loss,” Rowhani added.

He criticized unilateralism, which he said characterizes the U.S. foreign policy, reminding Americans of Afghanistan and Iraq and how military interventions there contributed to the spread of chaos and terrorism.

“Security is pursued at the expense of the insecurity of others, with disastrous consequences. More than a decade and two wars after 9/11, al-Qaeda and other militant extremists continue to wreak havoc,” Rowhani added.

(With AFP)