Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says the country can ''cooperate with the world,'' after agreeing to a framework for a nuclear deal with six major powers in Switzerland. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Negotiations that produced a framework nuclear accord are the first step towards better ties between Iran and the world, President Hassan Rouhani said on Friday (April 3), vowing to abide by what he called a historic deal if major powers did likewise. In a speech, citing regional and world security as potential beneficiaries of the deal, which if finalized would end Iran's long international isolation by sanctions imposed over its nuclear program, he dismissed claims Iran either has to "fight the world or surrender to the superpowers". "We believe neither of these is the case. There is a third path. We can cooperate with the world," Rouhani said, adding that Iran would honor the deal if major powers did. "Our deal will be balanced. If the opposite party meets its promises Iran will too. If one day they wish to choose a different path then our nation will also have its options open for it," he said. The tentative accord, struck on Thursday after eight days of talks in Switzerland, clears the way for a settlement to allay Western fears that Iran could build an atomic bomb, with economic sanctions on Tehran being lifted in return. "Their sanctions weren't up for negotiations. They imposed sanctions so we would surrender, but when they saw that surrender would not happen and that they were faced with a united nation, they then said the sanctions were for the negotiations. We were already negotiating with the world before the sanctions," Rouhani said. He added that world powers now accepted Iran could enrich uranium on its own soil, something he said they had once argued posed a threat to the region. The accord marks the most significant step towards rapprochement between Washington and Tehran since the 1979 Iranian revolution. But the deal still requires experts to work out difficult details before a self-imposed June deadline and diplomats said it could collapse at any time before then. Rouhani's assertion that the talks are paving the way to an improvement in Iran's foreign relations appear to contrast with a remark by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in a March 21 speech that Iran was negotiating solely on the nuclear dispute.