29 Sep 2013

Rouhani greeted by protesters on return from UN trip

5:41 am on 29 September 2013

President Hassan Rouhani of Iran was met by protesters chanting "Death to America" and ''Death to Israel'' on his return from the United Nations in New York.

During his trip, President Rouhani signalled a shift in tone on Iran's nuclear programme. The BBC reports this culminated in a phone call from President Barack Obama just before Mr Rouhani left New York.

The Iranian Labour News Agency reports a crowd of people gathered at Tehran airport on Saturday, with supporters hailing the trip and opponents throwing eggs and shoes.

Mr Rouhani raised his hand to the crowds as he was driven off.

The United States, Russia, Britain, France, China and Germany have asked Iran to halt production and stockpiling of enriched uranium. They also demand that Iran close an underground enrichment facility, near Qom.

Substantive negotiations between Iran and the group are due to take place on 15 October.

The BBC reports Mr Rouhani, who is regarded as a moderate, has said he wants to reach a deal over the nuclear issue in three to six months.

He has also asserted that Iran does not seek a nuclear bomb, as Western powers have long suspected.