The West has reacted with cautious optimism after Iran’s new president said he was determined to resolve the dispute over his country’s nuclear programme.
During his first news conference since his inauguration, President Hassan Rohani stressed a solution could be reached but only through talks and not threats.
Washington’s reaction: that is fine as far as it goes.
“There are steps they need to take to meet their international obligations and find a peaceful solution to this issue, and the ball is in their court,” said spokeswoman for the US State Department, Jen Psaki.
While Russia agreed that it was time for dialogue not ultimatums, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remained adamant that only pressure would bring results:
“Iran’s president said that pressures do not work. Not true. The only thing that has worked in the last two decades is pressure. And the only thing that will work now is increased pressure.”
Western countries and Israel have slapped economic sanctions on Iran believing it’s secretly trying to develop atomic weapons. Iran claims it is for peaceful purposes but talks on the matter remain deadlocked.