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Iranian leader still committed to country's nuclear program

Dec. 7, 2013 at 5:07 PM   |   Comments

TEHRAN, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said he remains committed to maintaining the country's nuclear programs while emerging from years of international isolation.

Rouhani reiterated promises made in his presidential campaign during a speech Saturday to about 1,000 students at Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran, the Washington Post reported.

"Nuclear energy is our absolute right, yes, but the right to progress, development, improving people's livelihood and welfare are also our rights," Rouhani said, adding the country needs "to strike the right balance between idealism and realism."

"There are those who want to close the gateways to this country. We know that is impossible," he said, in an apparent reference to critics of the nuclear deal signed between Iran and Western powers in Switzerland last month.

Affirming Iran would not give up any of its rights to nuclear energy, Rouhani said, "we have and do observe all the inalienable rights of the Iranian people and we have not and will not cross the red lines," Iran's state-run Fars News Agency reported.

"This government is committed to all its promises, but we need internal consensus," Rouhani told the students, whose signs and slogans indicated their varying points of view, the Post said.

"We need to be more tolerant, rational and avoid being too emotional," the president added.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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