Video: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani NBC INTERVIEW Country Will Never Develop Nuclear Weapons - Is Anyone Really That Naïve?
Published on Sep 18, 2013:
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told NBC News on Wednesday that the country will never develop nuclear weapons and that he has the clout to make a deal with the West on the disputed atomic program.
"In its nuclear program, this government enters with full power and has complete authority," Rouhani told Ann Curry, NBC News national and international correspondent and anchor at large, in his first interview with a U.S. news outlet since his election.
"The problem won't be from our side," he said at the presidential compound in Tehran. "We have sufficient political latitude to solve this problem."
Asked whether Iran would ever build a nuclear weapon, Rouhani noted that the country has repeatedly pledged that "under no circumstances would we seek any weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, nor will we ever."
"We have never pursued or sought a nuclear bomb, and we are not going to do so," he said. "We solely are looking for peaceful nuclear technology."
Rouhani's comments are the latest in a slew of signs that he is cautiously open to defrosting relations with the U.S., which were in deep freeze under the isolating leadership of his predecessor, the inflammatory Mahmoud Ahmedinejad.
He and President Obama have exchanged letters in which they traded views on "some issues."
"From my point of view, the tone of the letter was positive and constructive," Rouhani said of the note he got from the White House congratulating him on his June election, in which he defeated five hard-liners.
"It could be subtle and tiny steps for a very important future. I believe the leaders in all countries could think in their national interest and they should not be under the influence of pressure groups. I hope to witness such an atmosphere in the future."
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday that in the letter, Obama told Rouhani the U.S. is open to a resolution to the nuclear impasse in which Iran can prove its atomic program is peaceful.
But he also conveyed the need to act quickly because the window for a diplomatic deal "will not remain open indefinitely," Carney said.
On another pressing topic, Rouhani was questioned about his views on Iran's close ally Syria and its promise to give up chemical weapons under the threat of air strikes from the U.S.
He said he could give no guarantees on behalf of Syrian President Bashar Assad, just days after he was quoted by his country's official news agency as saying he would accept any Syrian president elected by the people.
Fox News Contributor Lisa Diftari had quite a different take from the hopeful and naïve mainstream media on Rouhani’s NBC Interview comments. She warned that this was a play by Rouhani to improve the Iranian economy, which would take his people off the streets and in-turn take pressure off the Iranian government, buying Iran more time, funds and flexibility to continue their uranium enrichment program and to develop nuclear weapons! As she warned, “In Iran’s case, the motto must be ‘guilty until proven innocent’” Should America, Israel and the world really be naïve enough not to follow that line, everyone will be the loser in the end!