President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday described his European tour as successful and emphasized that Iran has never been isolated in international community either before, or after the nuclear agreement, Irna reported.
Speaking in an interview with the French TV station France 24 for more than 60 minutes in the presence of reporters from Le Monde and France cultural dailies, the Iranian president offered responses in many internal and international fields quite clearly and logically.
The France 24 anchor after welcoming Dr. Rouhani began the interview with a question: Many Western countries considered Iran as an isolated country a few months ago. Aren't your European tour and the agreements reached in the visits considered Iran's full return to the international community?
'Visiting France was my pleasure, but in response to your question I have to reiterate that neither before the (nuclear) agreement, nor after it Iran has never been isolated in the international community,' said President Rouhani.
The president referred to his 2013 participation in the UN General Assembly meeting and proposing a world without extremism and violence, which was approved by the UNGA.
'It was on the sidelines of that assembly that the European countries' leaders in meetings with me expressed dissatisfaction with the anti-Iranian sanctions and emphatically said that that path was not the right one,' he added.
The Le Monde reporter referred to the Iran-US exchange of prisoners recently, asking President Rouhani whether it can be interpreted as gradual restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
'In the course of the past 70 years Iran and the United States have always had countless disputes. I must say that resolving all these problems in the short run is a very tough job. I have said from the beginning of my victory in the presidential elections that we wish to decrease the level of tension with the United States, which have already been decreased,' he said.
President Rouhani added that there is still a long way to go (to attain this goal); such issues are very complicated, and as soon as they come close to resolving them elections in Iran, or the elections in the United States begin and the efforts should be made from the beginning.
The France Culture daily reporter asked about the Iran-Saudi tension and President Rouhani's viewpoint on détente in that respect.
'What happened was very unpleasant from our point of view. A prominent Shi'a scholar who had critical viewpoints about the Saudi rulers' conduct was executed, which was an illegal act. The execution of that scholar led to surprise protests in many countries and was condemned worldwide, even in the Western countries,' said President Rouhani.
He added that the move cannot be justified by anyone and in Iran; too, the people's sentiments were naturally incited.
'Meanwhile, the Saudi Embassy incident was not pleasant for the Iranian government, nor was it done based on the will of the government. I, as the president, was the first person to condemn that incident and I also asked the country's security apparatus to identify and arrest the culprits involved in that act,' he said.
Rouhani said that the Saudis' reaction to that incident was inappropriate.
'We do not ffavor intensification of tension in the region as the people of Saudi Arabia are our neighbors and our religious brothers,' he added.
The Iranian president was meanwhile asked about the Syrian crisis.
He emphasized that that crisis has to be resolved politically and through diplomatic channels, which is both time taking and tough.
'It is a very remote possibility that it would be resolved within a few weeks' time or by holding a number of conferences,' he added.
Expressing hope for fast resolving of the crisis in that Arab county, president Rouhani expressed regret that the interference of some countries, as well as the existence of several terrorist groups there, some of which are even fighting against each other have prolonged the crisis in Syria.