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Hollande meets Rouhani

Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - 00:44

Sept. 24 - French President Francois Hollande became the first Western leader to meet new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: French President Francois Hollande became the first Western leader to meet new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday after warning that Paris expects "concrete gestures" by Iran to show it will give up a military nuclear program. France has been a strong advocate of sanctions to pressure Iran over its nuclear program but has been cautious in its statements since Rouhani, a relative moderate, was elected in June. Hollande, who exchanged handshakes with Rouhani at the United Nations in mid-afternoon - the first between leaders of the two countries since 2005 - told the U.N. General Assembly that while he was encouraged by the words of the new Iranian government, he now wanted acts to follow. "France expects of Iran concrete gestures which will show that this country renounces its military nuclear program even if it clearly has the right to pursue its civilian program," Hollande said in an address to the assembly before going into a meeting with Rouhani. "This is why I have made the choice to engage in direct and open dialogue with President Rouhani," Hollande said. "But I will also say ... I am in favor of dialogue, but just as strongly I am firm on the issue of nuclear proliferation." After a 40-minute meeting, a French aide said the encounter had been polite and courteous, with the two men discussing the crisis in Syria, Lebanon and Iran's nuclear program. "The French president said he had taken note of the overtures by his counterpart ... and on the nuclear issue he said that there needed to be quick results within the 5+1 framework," the aide said. Since Rouhani was elected president, the centrist cleric has called for "constructive interaction" with the world, a dramatic shift in tone from the strident anti-Western and anti-Israeli rhetoric of his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

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Hollande meets Rouhani

Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - 00:44

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