September 26, 2014 / 8:34 PM / in 3 years

Rouhani says 'courageous decisions' needed to clinch nuclear deal

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addresses the 69th United Nations General Assembly at United Nations Headquarters in New York, September 25, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Segar

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Iran President Hassan Rouhani said on Friday “courageous decisions” must be made to clinch a long-term nuclear agreement and that any deal without the lifting of all sanctions against Tehran was “unacceptable”.

Speaking to reporters in New York on the sidelines of the annual U.N. General Assembly, he added that progress in the latest round of nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers has been “extremely slow”.

“We must look forward to the future and make the courageous decisions vis-a-vis this problem,” he said. “Iran will never surrender its legal right to civilian nuclear activities,” he added. “Enrichment will continue on our soil.”

“Sanctions should be lifted totally and altogether and any agreement that does not have that will not be acceptable for Iran. This agreement will be beneficial for Iran, the P5+1 and for stability in the region,” he said.

A long-term deal, he said, would benefit Iran, the six powers -- United States, Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia -- and help to stabilize the Middle East.

Reporting by Parisa Hafezi and Louis Charbonneau. Editing by Jason Szep

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