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President Rouhani: Iran wants to reboot foreign policy

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Tehran has 18K centrifuges

TEHRAN — Iran's outgoing nuclear chief said on Saturday that the nation has 18,000 centrifuges for uranium enrichment — a process that can be a pathway to making nuclear weapons. The number is higher by a third than publicly known.

Fereidoun Abbasi made the announcement as he handed over his post to Ali Akbar Salehi, appointed by new President Hasan Rouhani.

The United States and its allies fear Iran is seeking to produce nuclear weapons. Tehran says its nuclear program is peaceful. — AP

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By The Associated Press
Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, 8:57 p.m.

TEHRAN — Iran's new president said on Saturday that his countrymen elected him to change the country's foreign policy and shift away from the bombastic style adopted under his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Hasan Rouhani said his government will adjust its tactics to reach out to world powers. But he said the Islamic Republic will retain its principles.

“We don't have the right to use foreign policy to chant slogans or clap,” Rouhani said.

“Foreign policy is not where one can speak or take a position without paying attention,” he said during the inauguration of Iran's new foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif.

“People in the June 14 elections declared that they want a new foreign policy,” the official IRNA news agency quoted him as saying.

Rouhani has pledged to follow a policy of moderation and ease tensions with the outside world. He has also vowed to improve an economy ravaged by international sanctions and mismanagement by empowering technocrats.

He won a landslide victory in June 14 presidential elections, defeating his conservative rivals. Rouhani took the oath of office on Aug. 4 and parliament approved all but three of his proposed ministers Thursday.

The core of Rouhani's team includes figures whose academic pedigrees run through places such as California, Washington, Paris and London.

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