WASHINGTON - Iran will never seek nuclear weapons, newly elected President Hassan Rowhani said in a US interview Wednesday ahead of a visit to the UN General Assembly.
"Under no circumstances would we seek any weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, nor will we ever," Rowhani told NBC News.
"We have never pursued or sought a nuclear bomb, and we are not going to do so," he said, according to the US network.
Rowhani repeated Iran's position that the clerical state - slapped with US-led sanctions following sensitive uranium work - was solely "looking for peaceful nuclear technology."
Rowhani, considered more moderate than his rivals, swept to power in June on promises to help repair Iran's suffering economy and to ease tensions with the West.
His stance has been met alternately with cautious optimism and skepticism in Washington, where experts note that supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ultimately controls foreign policy.
Rowhani told NBC News: "In its nuclear programme, this government enters with full power and has complete authority."
"The problem won't be from our side," he was quoted as saying. "We have sufficient political latitude to solve this problem."