The United States has offered the proverbial olive branch to Iran’s incoming president Hassan Rouhani, but the overture was spurned.
The U.S. said Rouhani’s inauguration Sunday presented an opportunity for change and he should use it to address world concerns over the country’s nuclear program.
“The inauguration of President Rouhani presents an opportunity for Iran to act quickly to resolve the international community’s deep concerns over Iran’s nuclear program,” a statement from the White House spokesman Jay Carney said.
Rouhani’s speech in the Iranian parliament on Sunday drew cheers when he criticised international sanctions, including those imposed by the U.S. He said the international community should use the “language of respect”, not sanctions.
“People have voted for moderation,” Rouhani said.
Despite the moderate tone of Carney’s statement, it was not likely to change U.S. policy.
The House of Representatives recently approved new restrictions on Iran’s oil, mining and construction industries. The Senate is expected to pass similar measures in September.
Some 76 senators have petitioned president Barack Obama to use force to end Iran’s nuclear programme, which Teheran claims is for non-military energy research.
“Until we see a significant slowdown of Iran’s nuclear activities, we believe our nation must toughen sanctions and reinforce the credibility of our option to use force at the same time as we fully explore a diplomatic solution to our dispute with Iran,” the senators said.
Sunday’s inauguration was not attended by Western officials.
Sources told NOW DAILY there was deep distrust of Rouhani in Washington despite the media calling him a “moderate” and a “reformer”.


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