Iran wants nuclear deal in three-to-six months, reveals President Hassan Rouhani

Iranian President says he wishes to finalise a resolution on Tehran’s nuclear programme within ‘months not years’

Ahead of meeting with the P5+1 group of world powers to discuss Tehran’s uranium enrichment programme, President Hassan Rouhani has said that his country ideally wants a nuclear resolution within three-to-six months.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zariff has a meeting scheduled in New York today to meet US Secretary of State John Kerry as well as diplomats from the UK, France, Russia, Germany and China.

Speaking to the Washington Post, President Rouhani said he was in control of settling the nuclear affair and that he had delegated the task to his Foreign Minister.

Though Mr Rouhani is president, his position of power remains subordinate to Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Mr Rouhani told the Washington Post that his government had been “fully empowered” by the Supreme Leader to “finalise nuclear talks”, saying that the country intended to create “full transparency” on the issue.

Asked about other bilateral issues such as the reopening of embassies, the Iranian president said: “Everything is possible after the [nuclear] settlement”.

When prompted on Iran’s position on Syria and the possibility of participating in a second Geneva conference Mr Rouhani also sounded an optimistic note.

He said the country would consider "cooperation at the international level" to help settle the Syria crisis, ending the civil war there and to insure the right of self-determination of the Syrian people. 

He added: “We would enter in any talks or meetings including Geneva 2 as long as there are no preconditions for Iran’s participation.”

The Iranian economy has been badly hit by sanctions imposed by the UN and the West over fears of the Middle Eastern country’s nuclear intentions – a complaint Mr Rouhani raised during his speech to the UN earlier this week.

Hassan Rouhani and François Hollande find time for a handshake (Getty) Hassan Rouhani and François Hollande find time for a handshake (Getty)

Mr Rouhani, who is considered a more moderate and less confrontational leader than predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, surprised some earlier this week when he allegedly turned down a meeting with President Barack Obama at the UN’s annual Conference in New York.

In his address to the UN, Mr Obama alluded to written correspondence he had established with the Iranian President, while The White House said that “ball was firmly in Iran’s court” with regards to a meeting between the two leaders.

John Kerry is expecting a meeting with Iran’s foreign minister (Getty) John Kerry is expecting a meeting with Iran’s foreign minister (Getty)

Asked by the Washington Post what he would have been if he had met Mr Obama, the Iranian president said: “ if it had happened we would have talked about opportunities and hopes for the future.”

Though diplomatic relations look warmer than usual between the two countries, the US Justice Department has not reneged on its bid to seize a New York skyscraper apparently owned by the Iranian government.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
video
News
Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
people
Voices
The popularity of TV shows such as The Liver Birds encouraged Liverpudlians to exaggerate their Scouse accent
voicesWe exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Parker says: 'I once had a taster use the phrase 'smells like the sex glands of a lemming'. Who in the world can relate to that?'
food + drinkRobert Parker's 100-point scale is a benchmark of achievement for wine-makers everywhere
News
i100
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing