Rouhani: Iran no threat, wants world interaction

Apr 07, 2016, 5:03 AM EDT
Iran President Hassan Rouhani.
(Source: World Economic Forum/flickr)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Thursday his country was not a threat to any other nation and that it wanted interaction with the rest of the world, state TV reported.

Reuters writes:

Rouhani's comments stand in contrast to statements from Iran's top authority Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has ruled out any further rapprochement with the United States since the conclusion of a historic nuclear deal that ended years of Iran's political and economic isolation. The deal, reached with six major powers in 2015, led to Iran curbing its nuclear program in exchange for lifting of sanctions in January. A standoff between Rouhani's government, which saw the deal through, and Khamenei's hardline allies who opposed it, has intensified in the past few months.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Gulf state ministers Thursday as differences over Iran and a host of regional conflicts cloud the relationship between the countries. CNN reports:

Kerry faces an uphill battle as he tries to shore up support for resolving key conflicts in the region from the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council, a group of critical allies disappointed by what they see as a continued deterioration of their relationship with the U.S. amid Iran's changing role in the region. The secretary of state is paving the way for a summit between President Barack Obama and Gulf leaders in Saudi Arabia later this month The U.S. wants to see the Gulf countries do more to take on ISIS, which it views as the paramount concern in the region.