Iran President: We'll Never Build Nuclear Weapon
Rouhani also calls war a sign of 'weakness'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2013 6:47 PM CDT
Iranian President Hasan Rouhani in a file photo.   (AP Photo/Presidency Office, Rouzbeh Jadidoleslam)

(Newser) – If Iran's more moderate new president is to be believed, the US doesn't have to worry about Tehran pursuing nuclear weapons. “We have never pursued or sought a nuclear bomb, and we are not going to do so,” Hasan Rouhani tells Ann Curry of NBC News. “We solely are looking for peaceful nuclear technology.” He also dismissed the idea that President Obama looked weak on Syria, with words that are hard to imagine coming from predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:

  • “We consider war a weakness. Any government or administration that decides to wage a war, we consider a weakness. And any government that decides on peace, we look on it with respect to peace.”

Of course, Iranian officials have insisted previously that they have only peaceful nuclear intentions, notes Reuters, but Rouhani's comments are seen as a further thawing of relations with the West in general and the US in particular. He described a recent letter from President Obama as "positive and constructive" and said "it could be subtle and tiny steps for a very important future." Rouhani will be in the US in less than a week to address the UN General Assembly.
 

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