TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian state TV is quoting the country’s new president as saying that the United States is seeking an excuse to confront Iran over its nuclear program.
The late Saturday report says the remarks by Hasan Rouhani came during his meeting with North Korean official Kim Yong Nam, who is Tehran for Rouhani’s Sunday inauguration.
“We believe the United States and the Westerners are seeking an excuse to confront the countries that they do not consider friends,” Rouhani was quoted as saying.
The West suspects Iran is pursuing nuclear weapon, a charge Iran denies.
Rouhani, elected in June, has promised greater openness over the country’s nuclear program, which has placed it at odds with the West.
But the elected president is subordinate, particularly in foreign and security matters, to the clerical leadership.