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Rohani Talks Cooperation, Security At Davos

Iranian President Hassan Rohani speaks during a session at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos on January 23.
Iranian President Hassan Rohani has addressed the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, giving a speech filled with talk of cooperation and security.

Rohani said on January 23 that no nation can live alone and that his country stands ready to engage the international community and improve relations with all nations, including the United States.

"Iran's dealings with the United States have entered a new era," he said. "For the first time, the two countries' politicians have had a dialogue, an exchange of opinions and decision-making to resolve differences over nuclear issues. This is an important development since the Islamic Revolution."

The German news agency dpa quoted Rohani on the sidelines of the conference as saying that the reopening of a U.S. embassy in Tehran "is not impossible."

Addressing some 2,500 global political and business leaders gathered in the Swiss resort, Rohani also called the crisis in Syria a major catastrophe and said the "best solution" to end the bloodshed is for "free and fair" elections to be held there.

"We all should try, first of all, to end the war and bloodshed in Syria," he said. "Secondly, we should all try to force out terrorists from Syria. We should explain to countries that support terrorism that such actions are not in their interest, because they will be the next [target of terrorists]. Then, we have to pave the way for the [Syrian] opposition to sit around the negotiating table with the government. The final solution is a free election in Syria."

Tehran is a strong supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad but was shut out of a UN-sponsored peace conference on Syria in Switzerland this week due to its refusal to endorse a framework for a transition from his rule.

Rohani said energy security was a vital component of international security and stressed the potential of his country toward achieving that goal, both in terms of geographic location and resources.

He said Iran was already preparing a new model for oil and gas deals that would be ready later this year.

Rohani was due to meet with officials from some of the leading international oil companies for talks later on January 23.

Rohani also reiterated that Iran is not interested in developing nuclear weapons.

"I declare strongly and clearly that nuclear weapons have no place in our security strategy," he said. "Iran has no motivation to move in that direction."

Suspicions that Tehran is seeking to the capability to build nuclear weapons are the reason the international community has placed economic sanctions on Iran.

Analysts say that, while some attending the forum welcomed Rohani's speech for its cordial tone and for signaling that Iran is "open for business," there were others who were more skeptical, saying Rohani had said little in his speech that had not been heard before.

One of the leading skeptics -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu -- is due to speak at the Davos Forum later on January.

With reporting by Al-Jazeera and Reuters
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