Iran warms to British outreach

July 18, 2013 at 10:30 AM

TEHRAN, July 18 (UPI) -- Iranian President-elect Hassan Rouhani is interested in reciprocal relations with governments expressing good will toward Tehran, a ministry spokesman said.

Rouhani, a Shiite cleric and former nuclear negotiator, billed himself as a moderate when he scored a victory in Iran's presidential elections last month. He said he'd reach out to members of the international community when he takes office next month.

"The president-elect has stressed constructive interaction with the world on an equal footing and based on mutual interests and respect as well as the removal of tensions and reciprocal confidence-building," Foreign Minister spokesman Abbas Araqchi was quoted by state-funded broadcaster Press TV as saying Thursday.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague this week told lawmakers his government would respond in "good faith" to any Iranian outreach "on a step-by-step basis."

Rouhani has been less conciliatory with Israel, however. He said the Israeli government is in no position to threaten Iran with military action.

Israel has said all options are on the table to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear weapons state.

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