Updated 8:11 p.m. Moscow Time
UNITED NATIONS, September 25 (RIA Novosti) - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reaffirmed on Thursday Tehran's readiness to continue work on securing a historic nuclear deal with the West, but insisted that Iran will not give up its peaceful nuclear program.
"We are determined to continue negotiations with our interlocutors in earnest and good faith, based on mutual respect and confidence, removal of concerns of both sides as well as equal footing and recognized international norms and principles," he said in an address to the UN General Assembly.
"We are committed to continue our peaceful nuclear program, including enrichment, and to enjoy our full nuclear rights on Iranian soil within the framework of international law," he stressed.
Rouhani also stated that any delay in negotiations and in reaching a comprehensive agreement will hurt everyone, especially nations in the Middle East region.
"Any delay in arriving at a final agreement only raises the costs; not only at our expense but also at the expense of the economy and trade of the other parties as well as the development and security prospects of our region. No one should doubt that compromise and agreement on this issue is in the best interest of everyone especially that of the nations of the region," Rouhani said.
The West and Israel accuse Iran of attempting to develop a nuclear weapon under the guise of a civilian nuclear program. Tehran argues that its nuclear development is aimed purely at meeting the country's growing energy needs and achieving other peaceful goals.
On Wednesday, the P5+1 group of international mediators comprising Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China, and Germany met with the Iranian delegation in New York but failed to reach an agreement with Tehran on any of the key issues surrounding Iran's nuclear program.
In November 2013, during the talks held in Geneva, the parties agreed to reach a deal guaranteeing the peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program by July 2014. The deadline for the agreement was later postponed to November 2014.