September 20, 2013


Hassan Rouhani sets out his vision for a new and free Iran (Julian Borger and Saeed Kamali Dehghan,  19 September 2013, The Guardian)

President Hassan Rouhani has signalled his intention to lead a new Iran on to the international stage at the United Nations next week, laying out a manifesto for personal freedom at home and compromise abroad.

"We want the people in their private life to be completely free," the newly elected president told NBC News, after a string of prisoner releases. He also pledged to create a citizens' rights commission "in the near future".

"In today's world, having access to information and the right of free dialogue and the right to think freely is the right of all people, including the people of Iran," Rouhani said.

Rouhani also vowed that Iran would never seek nuclear weapons and insisted his government had "complete authority" to resolve the 11-year international impasse over Iran's nuclear aspirations.

The bold rhetoric, backed up by a series of concrete steps taken with the apparent backing of Iran's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, has raised hopes of major diplomatic breakthroughs in the coming months, affecting the long-stalled nuclear negotiations and perhaps the Syrian conflict too.

White House hints Obama may meet with Iranian president over sanctions (Dan Roberts, 9/19/13,

The White House has hinted at the possibility of a historic meeting with Iranian president Hassan Rouhani during his visit to the United Nations next week, praising what it called "welcome rhetoric" from Iran on nuclear weapons.

Posted by at September 20, 2013 7:23 PM

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