hassan rouhani

After more than six decades of strife, a senior adviser to Iran's leadership has signaled the country's openness to a profound and historic strategic change in Iran's relations with the West. A brief letter from US President Obama offering potential relief from international sanctions in return for a swift agreement regarding Iran's controversial nuclear program has been reportedly answered by an equally brief and amicable note from Iran's moderate new president, Hassan Rouhani.

Iranian President Hasan Rouhani says his people should be free to think, speak and seek information on the Internet, subject to "the protection of our national identity." In an interview with NBC News in Tehran, Rouhani said that a "commission for citizens' rights" will be established "in the near future." He said the viewpoint of the government on censorship issues should be based "on our morals."

A hardline backlash always looms large over any attempt by a new government in Tehran to present itself as one that the West can talk to. President Hassan Rouhani has already found that the greatest challenge to public diplomacy is an apparent lack of discipline, rather than a lack of influential allies or favourable laws in a country where Facebook and other social networks are banned but not illegal.

Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has confirmed reports of President Hassan Rowhani's well-wishes on Jewish new year on social networking platform Twitter on Thursday. CNN's Christiane Amanpour posted a message on Facebook stating that she had just spoken to the Iranian foreign minister who confirmed to her Rowhani' tweets. “Just spoke with Iran's foreign minister who confirms he IS tweeting and wishes Jews in Iran & around the world a happy new year!,” Amanpour wrote in a tweet.

The US has offered Iran a "willing partnership", after President Hassan Rouhani was inaugurated in Tehran. The White House said Iran now had a chance to allay fears over its nuclear programme and meet its international obligations. Mr Rouhani used his inauguration speech to promise a government of moderation for all Iranians, but also called for international sanctions to be lifted.