The Herald reports:
Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s new President, has pledged he would “never” develop nuclear weapons as part of a series of overtures to the West ahead of his first address to the United Nations next week.
Rouhani, who was elected this year on a promise to end Iran’s international isolation, said he had the “full authority” from the country’s ruling ayatollahs to cut a deal on the nuclear issue.
In his first interview with United States television, Rouhani told NBC News that he was involved in a “positive and constructive” exchange of letters with Barack Obama, who wrote to congratulate him on his election.
He also ordered the release of Nasrin Sotoudeh, a prominent Iranian human rights lawyer, and several other political prisoners as part of a pattern of conciliatory gestures.
The White House offered no immediate public reaction to Rouhani’s comments but Western diplomats and US officials urged caution before accepting a new direction from Tehran.
Caution is correct, but I think the election of Rouhani does reflect that many in Iran want Iran to become less of a pariah state.