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Mirror Rouhani, Iran tells Western rivals

July 10, 2013 at 10:04 AM   |   Comments

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TEHRAN, July 10 (UPI) -- Western negotiators concerned about Iran's nuclear program should shift their stance to match that of the next Iranian president, an Iranian official said.

Hassan Rouhani, a former Iranian nuclear negotiator, secured a victory in the June presidential elections in Iran. He is considered a moderate when compared with the conservative leaders he defeated.

Rouhani, who takes office next month, said he would welcome a deeper level of engagement with the international community during his administration.

Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, a spokesman for Iran's foreign policy committee, said Tuesday the Iranian government wanted its negotiation partners to shift their stance "from extremism to moderation" in order to parallel Rouhani's platform, Iran's state-funded broadcaster Press TV reported.

Iran is suspected by members of the international community of pursuing the technology needed to manufacture a nuclear weapon. Tehran denies the allegations, saying it has the right to conduct peaceful nuclear research as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The Iranian government said it was interested in holding multilateral nuclear talks in Kazakhstan. Two rounds of talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany ended with little progress early this year.

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