Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 27 / Trend, S. Isayev, N. Umid
The contacts between people of Iran and the U.S. are useful, however resolving the nuclear issue is the main step towards repairing the Iran-US relations, Islamic Republic's president Hassan Rouhani said, Afkar news reported.
The president made the remarks at the Asia Society event on the sidelines of the 68th United Nations General Assembly in New York City.
Rouhani went on to say that the visits of U.S. citizens to Iran and Iranian visits to US could help establishing a public diplomacy, answering a question about opening a U.S. interest section in Iran.
"Contacts between Iranians and the American people will be a useful step for better understanding of the two nations," Rouhani told reporters at U.N. Headquarters in New York after addressing the high-level segment of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on Wednesday.
Earlier in July 2008, Iran's then foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki said that his country might consider suggestions of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on opening an US interest section in Tehran - comments coming amid possible progress in negotiations over Iran's nuclear programme.
Interests sections are a way to let a country post diplomats in a nation with which it has no formal diplomatic relations. At present, Switzerland represent U.S. interests in Tehran. In Washington, Iranian officials staff an interests section in the Pakistani Embassy.
Further speaking about the bans on satellite receiver antennas in Iran, Rouhani criticized the move, saying that banning is an idea that belongs to the past, adding that "all people in the world, including those in Iran have access to satellite TV channels."
He went on to note that, his administration targets free access of Iranian people to information.
Rouhani also said that Iranian people have established a moderate atmosphere in the country (by voting for him), and added that the opponents of moderate governing will gradually weaken.
"The idea of moderate government will be developed through time, right now we're just making first steps," Rouhani said.
With regard to nuclear program, Iran's president said that his government would leave "no stone unturned" while seeking a mutually acceptable solution to the nuclear impasse, and committed to resolve any "reasonable questions" on Iran's nuclear program.
The president described the dedication of the Iranian people to protecting their right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy, but underscored his commitment to resolve concerns - "the sooner the better."
Also speaking about the amnesty of prisoners in Iran, Rouhani expressed hope that more prisoners would be set free, after a recent release of Iranian prominent reformists.
On September 23, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued amnesty for 80 prisoners charged with security-related issues including some people who had been arrested during 2009 presidential election protests.
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