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Iran’s new president ‘seriously determined’ to resolve nuclear issue

Iran’s new President Hassan Rouhani (L) gestures as he arrives to his swearing-in ceremony at the Iranian Parliament in Tehran in this August 4, 2013 photo provided by the Iranian state news agency (IRNA). (Reuters)

Iran’s new President Hassan Rowhani on Tuesday said he was “seriously determined” to resolve a dispute with the West over Tehran’s nuclear program, Reuters quoted him as saying.

Rowhani said he was ready to enter “serious and substantive” negotiations on the issue.

A solution could be reached “solely through talks, not threats,” he added.

No surrender

Meanwhile, Rowhani said there could be no surrender of the right to peaceful use of nuclear energy that Iran claims under the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

“Iran’s peaceful nuclear program is a national issue... we will not give up the rights of the Iranian people,” Agence France-Presse reported him as saying.  “We will preserve our rights based on the international regulations.”

The European Union’s foreign policy chief urged Rowhani to schedule “meaningful talks” on the issue as soon as possible.

Catherine Ashton called on Rowhani “to seek a swift resolution to serious concerns about Iran’s nuclear activities,” the Associated Press quoted spokesman Michael Mann as saying on Tuesday.

Ashton and the group of nations negotiating with Iran - the five permanent U.N. Security Council members plus Germany - “stand ready to continue talks to find a resolution as quickly as possible,” Mann added.

Iran has long rejected Western suspicions that its nuclear program is aimed at developing atomic weapons, saying it is only for peaceful purposes.

Since 2012, four rounds of talks have failed to make any significant progress.

(With Reuters, AFP and AP)

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Last Update: Tuesday, 6 August 2013 KSA 18:01 - GMT 15:01
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