NBC News’ Ann Curry became the first Western journalist to interview Iran’s new President Hassan Rouhani when she traveled to Tehran this week. A portion of Curry’s interview aired on NBC Nightly News tonight, during which Rouhani vowed that his country will never pursue or seek to build a nuclear bomb.
Speaking through a translator, Rouhani told Curry, “We have never pursued or sought a nuclear bomb. We are not going to do so. We are solely seeking peaceful nuclear technology.” When Curry pushed him to make that a promise, Rouhani said, “We have time and again said that under no circumstances would we seek any weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, nor will we ever.”
The conversation also touched on Syria, with Rouhani refusing to speak on behalf of President Bashar al-Assad. “We are not the Syrian government,” he said. “We are one of the countries of the region that seeks peace and stability and the elimination of weapons of mass destruction in the region.”
Asked if President Obama appeared “weak” when he decided not to strike targets in Syria, as some critics have suggested, Rouhani said it was just the opposite. “We consider war a weakness,” he said. “Any government that decides on war we consider a weakness. And any government that decides on peace, we look on it with respect for peace.”
In her report to Brian Williams, Curry also said President Rouhani confirmed the written correspondence he has had with Obama, calling them “steps for an important future.” He also said he “hasn’t ruled out” meeting with Obama at next week’s UN summit.
Watch video below, via NBC:
[photo via screengrab]
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