Iran Won't Develop Nuclear Weapons, President Rouhani Claims

Melissa Stusinski

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani claimed in a TV interview that Iran will never develop nuclear weapons. Rouhani added that he is willing to resolve the matter diplomatically.

Rouhani's announcement came on Wednesday during an interview with Ann Curry from NBC News. In it, the newly elected Iranian president commented that he has "full power and has complete authority" to make a deal about the country's nuclear matters.

CNN reports that opposition to Iran's nuclear program has resulted in several sanctions against the Middle Eastern nation. Concerns have also been raised that the disagreement could result in war.

Rouhani sought to ease rumors that Iran had nuclear weapons ambitions, saying, "We have never pursued or sought a nuclear bomb and we are not going to do so."

Rouhani later added, "We have time and time again said that, under no circumstances, would we seek any weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons. Nor will we ever."

The BBC notes that Rouhani's comments come just one week before he is scheduled to visit New York for a meeting of the UN General Assembly.

White House spokesman Jay Carney commented on Rouhani's recent correspondence with US President Barack Obama, explaining, "In his letter the president indicated that the US is ready to resolve the nuclear issue in a way that allows Iran to demonstrate that its nuclear program is for exclusively peaceful purposes."

The interview with Rouhani follows comments by Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameni, who also indicated Iran would be willing to talk with the West about the country's nuclear program.

Speaking at a meeting with Revolutionary Guards, Khameni commented, "I don't oppose diplomacy. I am in favor of showing a champion's leniency. A wrestler may give way for tactical reasons, but should remember who is its opponent and enemy."

It is unclear when or if Iran will agree to talks with the West about its nuclear program.