Iran's president: We won't develop nukes...no, seriously!
Ah, the gullibility of some people in the west. Iran's new President, Hassan Rouhani, appeared quite sincere when he looked into the NBC cameras and said "under no circumstances would we seek any weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, nor will we ever."
Poor Iranians! They're just misunderstood. What they're really doing with all that nuclear material is building an atomic ice cream machine.
"We have never pursued or sought a nuclear bomb, and we are not going to do so," he said. "We solely are looking for peaceful nuclear technology."
Rouhani's comments are the latest in a slew of signs that he is cautiously open to defrosting relations with the U.S., which were in deep freeze under the isolating leadership of his predecessor, the inflammatory Mahmoud Ahmedinejad.
He and President Obama have exchanged letters in which they traded views on "some issues."
"From my point of view, the tone of the letter was positive and constructive," Rouhani said of the note he got from the White House congratulating him on his June election, in which he defeated five hard-liners.
"It could be subtle and tiny steps for a very important future. I believe the leaders in all countries could think in their national interest and they should not be under the influence of pressure groups. I hope to witness such an atmosphere in the future."
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday that in the letter, Obama told Rouhani the U.S. is open to a resolution to the nuclear impasse in which Iran can prove its atomic program is peaceful.
But he also conveyed the need to act quickly because the window for a diplomatic deal "will not remain open indefinitely," Carney said.
On another pressing topic, Rouhani was questioned about his views on Iran's close ally Syria and its promise to give up chemical weapons under the threat of air strikes from the U.S.
He said he could give no guarantees on behalf of Syrian President Bashar Assad, just days after he was quoted by his country's official news agency as saying he would accept any Syrian president elected by the people.
The Pakistani nuclear proliferator A.Q. Khan wasn't selling Iran hardware and expertise to build a "peaceful" nuclear program. Khan has admitted as much. What are they doing with bomb designs, warhead plans, and highly enriched uranium if they're not trying to build a weapon?
But those are just details, details, details. Never mind what we're doing, listen to what we're saying. That's Rouhani's message - and thankfully, it is mostly falling on deaf ears.