Iranian president Hasan Rouhani on why he didn't meet Obama, hopes for nuclear talks

(CBS News) Despite rumors that Iran and the United States would break decades of diplomatic tension with an informal meeting or handshake between the countries' leaders at the U.N. General Assembly this week, President Obama and Iranian President Hasan Rouhani did not come face-to-face. American and Iranian officials were reportedly in talks for two days about the potential meeting and the Iranian delegation said orchestrating a run-in proved to be "too complicated."

President Rouhani sat down with CBS News' Charlie Rose Wednesday and explained, "We're speaking of two countries that have had no relations for 35 years. So it's clear to begin talks requires some preparation work.

"Whenever the prep work is completed, I believe that it's possible to have a meeting. Perhaps if we had more time here in New York, we may have been able to coordinate what was necessary for that meeting to take place. We must all admit that the principle of the meeting of the two sides is indeed important. But what's more important than that is the result of the meeting. So we must make every effort so that the first high official meeting will definitely yield positive results," Rouhani said.

On the issue of resuming negotiations regarding Iran's nuclear program, Rouhani said, "What matters is that Iran must be able to assert its rights, its legal rights. I'm speaking of under international law and that the other countries must acknowledge Iran's rights under international law."

"On the other hand, if there are any concerns specifically in our region about our program, it is Iran's responsibility to also address those concerns. As to the modality for that, that certainly will have to be discussed during the negotiations. But in any case, we don't want Iran to be an exception. We do not want discrimination against Iran. We want Iran to be seen just like the rest of all other countries that have nuclear programs as well as enrichment programs."

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Follow Us

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

The Newsroom