'Talks Not Threats': Iran's New President Asks US for Diplomacy

Iran’s new President Hassan Rouhani reached out to the United States in his first press conference as president Tuesday, calling for “serious and substantive” negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, and cited the need for “talks not threats.”

“If the United States shows goodwill and mutual respect, the way for interaction will be open,” he declared, urging a diplomatic solution.

Rouhani’s Tuesday statements were reported by Reuters as an ‘offering of an olive branch’ from a president and cleric widely viewed as a moderate within the spectrum of Iranian official politics.

They follow in line with previous statements Rouhani has made, including his declaration at his presidential swearing-in ceremony Sunday, “If you want an adequate response, you shouldn’t speak the language of sanctions, you should speak the language of respect.”

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