Rouhani questions use of sanctions

Aug. 12, 2013 at 11:42 AM
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TEHRAN, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told members of parliament he questioned if Western economic sanctions were the right way to address nuclear concerns.

Rouhani reached out to members of parliament Monday as debate gets under way for his Cabinet nominees. He was elected in July, running as a moderate candidate who pledged to reach out to members of the international community during his first term in office.

The former nuclear negotiator said he would address tough geopolitical matters during his administration.

"We all know that our country is in a difficult economic-social situation and international pressures have added to the problems," he was quoted by state-funded broadcaster Press TV as saying.

Two rounds of nuclear negotiations under his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, ended with few breakthroughs earlier this year. Iranian officials said they'd be willing to discuss the nuclear issue with the European Union if sanctions pressure eases.

"The issue is not whether sanctions have been effective or not; the question is whether the method chosen by the Western countries is a correct or suitable approach to resolve an international issue," Rouhani said.

Press TV said lawmakers may take several days to decide whether or not to give their vote of confidence to Rouhani's nominees.

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