14:03 25 September 2013
America and its allies have long been suspecting Iran’s leaders of trying to build a nuclear weapon, frequently asking for reassurances of the contrary.
Now, Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, who was elected earlier this year and who pledged a more open approach in international affairs, have said that he is now ready for "time-bound and results-oriented" talks on Iran’s nuclear programme.
Speaking at the UN General Assembly’s annual meeting in New York, he said that sanctions against Iran were ‘violent’.
He added: "Iran poses absolutely no threat to the world or the region.”
"Nuclear weapon and other weapons of mass destruction have no place in Iran's security and defence doctrine, and contradict our fundamental religious and ethical convictions. Our national interests make it imperative that we remove any and all reasonable concerns about Iran's peaceful nuclear programme."
However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wasn’t impressed with President Rouhani’s address. He said: "It had no practical suggestion to stop Iran's military nuclear programme and no commitment to fulfil UN Security Council decisions.”
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