Tony Blair: action needed to prove Iran’s new will

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Iranian President Hassan Rowhani’s new views regarding Iran’s nuclear program and the West are “welcomed” but need to be followed by solid actions to prove them, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair told Al Arabiya.

“You certainly need to see more than words, yes the rhetoric is different and the speech may be different and I welcome that…” Blair said during an interview with Al Arabiya’s New York Bureau Chief Talal al-Haj.

Blair stressed that the Iranian government should show more cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), noting that the agency had been critical of Iran recently.

He said “Iran could come and demonstrate cooperation so the actions they need to take are fairly clear” to the IAEA and the international community.

On Tuesday, the newly-elected Iranian president’s statements at the United Nations General Assembly meeting generated a positive buzz.

Rowhani expressed Iran’s determination to resolve the nuclear impasse with the international community, Reuters reported.

However, Rowhani argued that Tehran was not prepared to give up its enrichment program.

In comments over the subject, Blair said: “What the West and the international community as a whole is prepared to say to Iran is if your purpose is civil nuclear power we will help you do it.

“But the difficulty with the enrichment process is when you start bumping up against the thresholds and move it into a different bracket altogether,” he said.