Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Iran's new tone 'encouraging': Germany

25 September 2013, 10:41

United Nations - German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle on Tuesday met Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, welcoming a "new tone" from Tehran but demanding "substantial action" on its controversial nuclear programme.

"This is a good day for those who bet on a political and diplomatic solution," Westerwelle told journalists, calling Rouhani's speech to the UN General Assembly "encouraging".

He later met Iran's new leader, who has made diplomatic overtures in his country's nuclear standoff with the West.

The talks focused on Iran's nuclear programme and the civil war in Syria, diplomats said.

"We had a constructive discussion," Westerwelle said, stressing that he agreed with Rowhani that the use of chemical weapons is a "huge crime".

Western nations accuse Syria's President Bashar Assad of being behind the 21 August chemical attack near Damascus, which the United States estimates killed 1 400 people.

Westerwelle emphasized the "stark contrast" between the wording of Rouhani's speech and the fiery broadsides of his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad against Israel and the United States that prompted Western diplomats to walk out.

"The Iranians could be serious with a new constructive approach," he said but cautioned that Tehran must take concrete steps to prove its willingness to engage.

"It is critical that new substantial offers are made," Westerwelle added.

Germany's top diplomat also praised US President Barack Obama's speech to the General Assembly, who pushed for a "diplomatic path" with the new Iranian government.

Obama has sent a "strong signal" and offered a "window of opportunity" to end hostilities between Iran and the West, he said.

Westerwelle will participate in high-level talks on Iran's suspected nuclear programme on Thursday, joining counterparts from the United States, Britain, China, France, Russia and Iran.

On Syria, Westerwelle urged world leaders to make renewed efforts for a political process during their annual gathering in New York.

"There cannot be a military solution in Syria. Only a political solution can bring sustainable peace and stability," he said.

Westerwelle is scheduled to address the UN General Assembly on Saturday in what will likely be his last major appearance as foreign minister.

After four years at the helm of Germany's diplomatic corps, Westerwelle is set to leave office following his party's crushing defeat in Sunday's parliamentary elections.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...