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Iran fuel price hikes will be big test for Rouhani

By Parisa Hafezi ANKARA (Reuters) - Looming fuel price rises in Iran will be the first major test of President Hassan Rouhani's ability to retain public support in the face of attacks from his hardline rivals. Since he was elected in August, Rouhani has pleased many Iranians by reaching an interim agreement with the United States and the European Union on his country's nuclear program, and pursuing a deal that would end economic sanctions against Iran.

Iran's Rouhani in Oman to boost ties with longtime Gulf ally

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani held talks in Muscat with Sultan Qaboos Wednesday as he kicked off a two-day Oman visit aimed at boosting economic ties between the longtime allies. Rouhani went into the meeting with Sultan Qaboos, who has acted as an intermediary between Western countries and the Islamic republic, soon after he arrived in Muscat accompanied by a delegation of Iranian leaders. The two leaders discussed "bilateral cooperation" and "building good relations" between their countries, Oman's official ONA news agency reported.

Bilateral ties on agenda as Iran's Rouhani to visit Oman

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is expected in Muscat for a two-day visit starting Wednesday during which he will discuss bilateral cooperation and regional tensions with Oman's leader, Tehran's envoy announced. Tehran enjoys good relations with Muscat but is locked in a decades-long rivalry with Saudi Arabia while other Gulf states are wary of the ambitions of their neighbour across the water.

Iran's Rouhani defends 'freedom of press with responsibility'

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani defended Saturday what he called "freedom of the press with responsibility" and criticised the practice of shutting down offending newspapers. "The government is in favour of freedom of expression with responsibility," he said in a vigorously applauded speech to media figures broadcast live on television. "If we break the pens and shut the mouths, public trust will be deeply harmed."

UN finds no evidence Iran seeks nuclear arms

President Hassan Rouhani said Sunday that despite "thousands of hours" of inspection, the UN's atomic watchdog has found no evidence of military objectives in Iran's nuclear drive. His remarks came on the eve of an International Atomic Energy Agency board of governors meeting in Vienna, on the sidelines of which Iran will hold expert-level talks with world powers. Western powers "all know that nuclear science in Iran follows a peaceful path", Rouhani said in a speech broadcast on state television.

Rouhani tells Iran generals to cut hostile rhetoric

DUBAI (Reuters) - President Hassan Rouhani urged Iran's military leaders on Saturday to let diplomacy prevail in dealing with potential foreign threats, in a clear reference to efforts to end the nuclear dispute and decades of hostile relations with the West. "It is very important to formulate one's sentences and speeches in a way that is not construed as threat, intention to strike a blow," Rouhani said in a meeting with Iran's top military echelon.

Rouhani says military threats against Iran 'delusions'

President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday said world powers should have no "delusions" about resorting to a military option should talks on the country's nuclear programme fail. "I say explicitly, if some have delusions of having any threats against Iran on their tables, they need to wear new glasses. There is no military option against Iran on any table in the world," Rouhani said in comments marking the 35th anniversary of the Islamic revolution.

Iran's Rouhani demands 'fair, constructive' nuclear talks

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday called on world powers to match Tehran's "fair and constructive attitude" in nuclear negotiations due to resume in Vienna next week. "Iran is committed to a fair and constructive negotiations within the framework of international regulations; we hope to witness such a willingness in the other party in the upcoming talks," Rouhani said in comments broadcast live on state television. str-sgh/cyj/bpz

Rouhani says Iran 'ready' for talks on final nuclear deal

President Hassan Rouhani said Monday Iran is "ready" for negotiations on a comprehensive deal with world powers over its controversial nuclear drive, a week before fresh talks in Vienna. "Iran is prepared to enter negotiations with the P5+1 (group of world powers) to reach a comprehensive and final agreement," Rouhani told foreign dignitaries and ambassadors in remarks broadcast live on state television. mod/bpz

Iran's Rouhani freer to speak but hands tied

Iran's outreach to the West signifies a new pragmatic approach to foreign policy after eight years of isolation but does not mark a radical shift in its ideologies and principles, analysts say. President Hassan Rouhani has made some headway in wooing world leaders by presenting a more moderate Iranian profile than did his hardline predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the experts say. But, they caution, the extent of Rouhani's relative freedom in foreign policy is confined to nuclear negotiations with major world powers.
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