Iran not seeking war with any nation: Rouhani

Washington, Sep 20 (IANS) Describing Israel as an "occupier" which has brought instability to the Middle East, Iran's new President Hassan Rouhani has said that his country does not seek war with any country, Geo News reported.

In the second part of his interview with US broadcaster NBC aired Thursday, Rouhani, though avoided answering a question whether he believed the Holocaust was a myth like his predecessor but said Tehran was seeking peace in the region instead of war.

"We believe in the ballot box. We do not seek war with any country. We seek peace and friendship among the nations of the region."

Rouhani, who took office last month, branded arch foe Israel an "occupier" that "does injustice ... and has brought instability to the region with its warmongering policies".

The Iranian president also said that his country would never develop nuclear weapons.

Rouhani, during the interview, aired just days before he travels to New York for the UN General Assembly, said he had full authority to make a deal with Western powers on his country's atomic programme.

He also talked about his initial interactions with US President Barack Obama, who had sent him a letter of congratulations after his election.

"From my point of view, the tone of the letter was positive and constructive," reported Xinhua quoted Rouhani as saying in the interview. "It could be subtle and tiny steps for a very important future."

"I believe the leaders in all countries could think in their national interests and they should not be under the influence of pressure groups. I hope to witness such an atmosphere in the future."

After being elected president this summer, Rouhani promised to end Iran's international isolation.


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