Aug. 6 - Iran's new president offers an olive branch of sorts to the U.S. in talks on Tehran's nuclear program, raising hopes of progress after years of stalemate. Mana Rabiee reports.
Iran's new president offered an olive branch of sorts to the U.S. on Tuesday. Speaking at his first news conference, Hassan Rouhani raised the hope of progress over Tehran's disputed nuclear program, after years of stalemate. (SOUNDBITE) (Farsi) IRANIAN PRESIDENT HASSAN ROUHANI SAYING: "We are determined to resolve the dispute. We are ready for serious and substantive discussions. If the other side is also similarly ready to talk, I am confident that the concerns from both sides through discussion can be resolved." But like his predecessors before him, Rouhani also said nuclear technology is a right of the Iranian people and that he wont abandon Iran's nuclear program. ...creating barely cautious optimism in U.S. State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN JEN PSAKI SAYING: "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." Russia welcomed Iran's apparent olive branch but Israel cautioned that now is not the time to release political and economic pressure on Iran. The last high-level talks with Iran and world powers were in April but failed to break the deadlock.