Iran's Rouhani says time for resolving nuclear dispute limited

DUBAI Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:43pm BST

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DUBAI (Reuters) - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a live interview on state television on Tuesday that the time for resolving Iran's nuclear dispute with the West was limited, and urged the world community to seize the opportunity of his election.

"The world must know completely that this period of time for resolving the nuclear issue will not be unlimited. We have a specified period of time," said Rouhani, a centrist cleric who took office last month.

"The world must also use this period of time and this opportunity that our people created in this election. We will also use this opportunity. God willing, I am hopeful we can, step by step, solve this problem."

Rouhani, who succeeded Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a conservative known for his bellicose rhetoric on the international stage, has pledged moderation in Iran's foreign and domestic policies and called for "constructive interaction" with the world.

Iran has been engaged in negotiations with six world powers that have so far failed to bring about a settlement.

Western countries in particular are concerned about Iran's uranium enrichment programme and fear it may be developing a capacity to build nuclear weapons. Iran says its programme is purely peaceful and designed to meet its energy needs.

Rouhani said on Tuesday he would meet with the foreign ministers from some of the six powers - the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany - when he attends the U.N. General Assembly in New York this month.

"In the nuclear issue the end of the game must be a win-win game. Win-lose has no meaning," Rouhani said.

"We can have a win-win game, we are ready for a win-win game. I think the beginning of this work will start in New York."

(Reporting By Yeganeh Torbati; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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