Iran’s new president thinks nuclear deal possible

Iranian president-elect Hasan Rowhani has pledged a ‘‘path of moderation.’’
Iranian president-elect Hasan Rowhani has pledged a ‘‘path of moderation.’’(Ebrahim Noroozi/APress)

TEHRAN — Iran's president-elect believes it's possible to strike a deal that would allow the Islamic Republic to keep enriching uranium while assuring the West it will not produce a nuclear weapon.

Hasan Rowhani also said his government would look for a win-win deal to resolve disputes with the United States, following three decades of estrangement between the two nations.

His remarks came in an interview recorded four months ago and rerun on Iranian state TV on Friday.

The broadcast appeared to be intended to underline his pledge to follow a ''path of moderation'' and pursue greater openness over Iran's nuclear program.


Rowhani, Iran's former top nuclear negotiator, won a landslide victory in the June 14 presidential election. He is set to take office in August, when he will replace Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Although Iran's president cannot set policy on major decisions such as the nuclear program, he can influence views by the ruling clerics. Rowhani is considered a relative moderate but also has deep ties to Iran's Islamic establishment. In his campaign, he said he favors international outreach and efforts to ease sanctions over Iran's nuclear program.

In the interview, Rowhani suggested that under his presidency, Iran would seek to convince the United States and its allies that dialogue — and not sanctions — are the way forward.

On the issue of stalled nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers, Rowhani acknowledged ''no practical results were achieved'' and stressed that ''a deal would represent a practical result.''