US `a willing partner` if Iran serious on nuclear talks

Iran will find "a willing partner" in US if President Hassan Rouhani`s government is ready for serious talks to address global concerns over the Islamic republic`s nuclear programme, White House said.

Last Updated: Aug 05, 2013, 00:24 AM IST

Washington: Iran will find "a willing partner" in the US if President Hassan Rouhani`s new government is ready for serious talks to address global concerns over the Islamic republic`s nuclear programme, the White House said on Sunday.
Rouhani`s inauguration gives Iran a chance "to act quickly to resolve the international community`s deep concerns over Iran`s nuclear programme," White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.

"Should this new government choose to engage substantively and seriously to meet its international obligations and find a peaceful solution to this issue, it will find a willing partner in the US," he said in the message congratulating Rouhani on his inauguration.

64-year-old Rouhani, who has committed himself to greater international engagement for Iran which is battling sanctions over its nuclear programme, was administered the oath in the Parliament today.

Rouhani was officially endorsed by the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei yesterday for a four-year term.

In his first public comments after assuming power, Rouhani said, "The only path to interact with Iran is through negotiations on equal grounds, reciprocal trust-building, mutual respect and reducing hostilities".

"If you want a proper answer, do not speak with Iran with the language of sanctions but with the language of respect," he said, adding Iran would "not surrender to sanctions, nor be threatened with war."

Rouhani takes over the Presidentship at a time when western nations are stepping up pressure on Iran, accusing it of pursuing a nuclear programme as a cover for a drive for a weapons capability.

Iran insists that its programme is for peaceful purposes such as power generation and medical purposes only.

PTI