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Middle East

Report: Iran wants nuclear deal within months

President Rouhani says he has backing of Supreme Leader to revive stalled talks with West, amid crippling sanctions.

Last Modified: 26 Sep 2013 00:33
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Iran says its nuclear facility at Bushehr exists for peaceful purposes [EPA]

President Hassan Rouhani wants to reach a deal over Iran's nuclear programme with world powers within months and says he has the backing of the country's Supreme Leader.

Rouhani said in a newspaper interview on Wednesday that he was keen to set a three- or six-month timetable to seal a nuclear deal and emphasised that Iran envisioned a process lasting "months not years."

"If we are on the issue of the nuclear file, we need resolution in a reasonable time. The only way forward is for a timeline to be inserted into the negotiations that's short," Rouhani told the Washington Post during a visit to New York, where he addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.

"The shorter it is, the more beneficial it is to everyone."

Asked if he had the backing of  Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to conclude a deal, Rouhani said: "Settlement of the nuclear file is one of the responsibilities of my government.

"My government is fully empowered to finalize the nuclear talks."

Rouhani's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who has been tasked as the lead nuclear negotiator, said on Wednesday that he hoped his counterparts from six world powers, the US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany, "have the same political will as we do to start serious negotiations with a view to reaching an agreement within the shortest span of time".

Geneva meeting

Iran urges West to abandon sanctions

Zarif will be a part of the Thursday meeting to discuss the next round of negotiations in Geneva, expected in October.

The West and Israel suspect have accused Iran of trying to build a nuclear weapon and imposed crippling sanctions on Tehran.

The sanctions have slashed its vital oil exports and severely restricted its international bank transfers. Inflation has surged and the value of the local currency has plunged.

Tehran has repeatedly denied that its nuclear program is for anything other than peaceful purposes.

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Source:
Agencies
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