Iran's President Hassan Rouhani .
(photo credit: Reuters)
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addressed the Davos World Economic Forum in Switzerland on Thursday, saying he wanted to have good relations "with all countries we officially recognize," in an apparent suggestion that Tehran does not have plans on seeking relations with Israel.
Rouhani said that Iran was committed to reaching a comprehensive agreement with the West on its nuclear program, which he insisted was purely peaceful.
The Iranian president said that Iran merely wishes to have the same rights as the dozens of other countries in the world that enrich uranium.
Rouhani attempted to woo business back to Iran as sanctions loosen, calling on western business leaders to visit Iran to see the numerous investment opportunities in the country.
President Shimon Peres, who flew to Switzerland with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, plans to hold a press conference soon after Rouhani’s speech to provide a rebuttal Netanyahu is to then address the forum in a session titled “Israeli Economic and Political Outlook.” His speech is expected to focus on economic issues.
The prime minister, upon landing in Davos, said the goal of his visit was to speak to leading international companies and to interest them in investing in Israel. Soon after landing he met with Yahoo president and CEO Marissa Mayer and put forward the advantages of investing in blue-and-white technology.
Netanyahu, according to a statement put out by his office, asked what he could do to increase Yahoo’s investments in Israel. Mayer said she planned to visit the country in July.
The prime minister is to take part in a panel at the conference on Thursday on information technology.
In addition, he is scheduled to meet with a number of government leaders from Africa, Asia and Europe. He is scheduled to meet with US Secretary of State John Kerry before he leaves on Saturday night.