(CNN) Iran’s President on Friday hailed the proposed international deal on his country’s nuclear program, vowing that Iran will stick to its promises and — assuming other countries live up to their end of the bargain — become a more active, engaged player in world affairs.
“Some think that we should either fight … or we should surrender to other powers,” President Hassan Rouhani said. “However, we believe none of that. There is a third path. We can cooperate with the world.”
Rouhani said his government kept its word to Iranians when negotiating the deal, which was agreed upon Thursday and sets parameters for talks that could lead to a comprehensive deal by a June 30 deadline. Chief among them is that Iran would keep at least some centrifuges and no longer face international sanctions.
He thanked Iranians for their patience and for “resisting” by standing up for the country’s rights.
As to the rest of the world, the Iranian President said he thinks most now realize that Iran “is pursuing peaceful objectives.” That means trying to develop nuclear energy, not nuclear weapons, as many feared. That fear, combined with distrust of Iran’s leaders, spurred the sanctions and the Middle Eastern nation’s isolation.
“We do not lie,” Rouhani said, vowing that Iran will be true to its word, “provided the other parties will implement their own promises.”
The President said he hoped a deal would open up Iran to the rest of world, including its longstanding adversaries.
“We do shake hands with them. … Even those countries we have tensions with, we would like an end to the animosity,” he said. “Cooperation and interaction would be in the interest of everyone.”