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
  • 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: Customer Service / Receptionist

£14000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Administrator - Legal Department

£19000 - £19665 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking to join an awar...

Recruitment Genius: IT Infrastructure Engineer

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is looking to find a...

Recruitment Genius: Technical Manager / Technical Executive

£25000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity exists ...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss