Iran’s president-elect Hassan Rohani has said his country is ready to be more transparent over its nuclear programme, but it is not prepared to suspend uranium enrichment.
He was giving his first news conference since winning Friday’s presidential election, and said a new opportunity had been created for friendly relations between the Islamic Republic and the outside world.
“The government of wisdom and hope, as promised, will pursue national goals with a moderate policy designed to save the country’s economy and revive ethical considerations and constructive interaction with the world,” he said.
The words “moderate” and “constructive” may encourage those anxious to see Iran adopt a more conciliatory approach compared to that under Rohani’s predecessor. The hardline stance of President Ahmadinejad has been criticised as counter-productive at home, where Western sanctions have been biting hard.
The EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has said she will continue urging Iran to build confidence in the nature of a nuclear programme, following Rohani’s election.
Western powers suspect Tehran wants to build an atomic bomb. Iran insists it is only interested in developing nuclear energy.