'Iran, US have taken first steps toward decreasing enmity,' Rouhani says

Iranian president told CBS' "60 Minutes" program that despite the nuclear agreement, "the distance, the disagreements, the lack of trust, will not go away soon."

By REUTERS
September 21, 2015 02:56
2 minute read.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani attends a news conference in Shanghai

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani attends a news conference in Shanghai. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in an interview with a US television network that aired on Sunday that Tehran and Washington "have taken the first steps" toward decreasing their enmity due to a landmark nuclear accord.

But Rouhani told CBS' "60 Minutes" program that despite the nuclear agreement, "the distance, the disagreements, the lack of trust, will not go away soon."

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The United States and Iran have been at odds since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution. Deep differences remain over Middle East conflicts, as well as what Washington sees as Iran's support for terrorism and poor human rights record.

"What's important is which direction we are heading?" Rouhani added. "Are we heading towards amplifying the enmity or decreasing this enmity? I believe we have taken the first steps towards decreasing this enmity."


The nuclear accord reached in July between Iran and six world powers eases crippling sanctions on Iran in return for limits on its nuclear work.

The accord's opponents in the US Congress were unable to muster the votes to block it by last week's legislative deadline for action.

Rouhani, who was interviewed in Tehran, expressed confidence that Iran's parliament and Supreme National Security Council would likewise approve the accord.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


"The majority of our people, in opinion polls, have a positive view of the agreement," he said. "Institutions like the parliament and the Supreme National Security Council, are usually not far removed from public opinion and move in that direction."

The powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, some of whose members have publicly criticized the deal, "will respect this agreement" once Iran approves it, Rouhani predicted.

The Iranian president, expected to travel to the United States next week for the UN General Assembly, suggested he would not oppose some sort of US-Iran prisoner swap.

Iran is holding several Americans, including Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, who has dual US and Iranian citizenship. Iranian officials have said they want freedom for Iranians held in the United States, some of whom have been jailed on charges of circumventing US sanctions on Tehran.

Asked if he would support a prisoner exchange, Rouhani told CBS: "I don't particularly like the word exchange, but from a humanitarian perspective, if we can take a step, we must do it. The American side must take its own steps."

In the Syrian conflict, Iran has backed President Bashar Assad, and Rouhani said Assad should stay in power at least until Islamic State militants are defeated. "How can we fight the terrorists without the government staying?" he asked.

The weekly chant of "Death to America" in Iran "is not a slogan against the American people," Rouhani added.

"The policies of the United States have been against the national interests of Iranian people," he said. "We cannot forget the past, but at the same time our gaze must be towards the future."

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

November 14, 2018
Car plant shows limits to Iran's economic ambitions in Syria

By REUTERS