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NBC News is reporting that Iran's President Hassan Rouhani pledged not to develop nuclear weapons in an exclusive interview today.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told NBC News on Wednesday that his administration will never develop nuclear weapons and that he has full authority to make a deal with the West on the disputed atomic program.

In Rouhani's first interview with a U.S. news outlet since his election, he also spoke to NBC News National and International correspondent/anchor Ann Curry about his initial interactions with President Obama, who sent him a letter of congratulations and raised "some issues."

"From my point of view, the tone of the letter was positive and constructive," Rouhani said.

"It could be subtle and tiny steps for a very important future. I believe the leaders in all countries could think in their national interest and they should not be under the influence of pressure groups. I hope to witness such an atmosphere in the future."

This is important and could go a long way toward reducing tensions in the middle east and end the economic boycott of Iran.  Rather than "bomb, bomb, bomb Iran," as Republican presidential candidate John McCain wanted to do in 2008 (and since then), it looks like economic pressure and a change in leadership may make a diplomatic solution possible.

This is a very good sign.  As he said, "the tone of [President Obama's] letter was positive and constructive."  There is hope for a peaceful solution here.  

   

Originally posted to TomP on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 01:34 PM PDT.

Also republished by Good News and More and Better Democracies.

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