TEHRAN, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday that the Islamic republic will not slacken over the nation's nuclear rights.
His "adminstration will not step back over the inalienable ( nuclear) rights of the Iranian people and will do its utmost to deal with the issue logically and rationally," Rouhani was quoted as saying by the semi-official Mehr news agency.
The remarks by the president, who was addressing a group of high-ranking clergymen in Tehran on Tuesday, followed the recent call by the U.N. nuclear watchdog for Iran's engagement with the international community over its controversial nuclear program.
His words are also significant as Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif has announced he will meet EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on the sidelines of the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York later this month to discuss the means to overcome the obstacles to solve Iran's nuclear standoff.
Earlier, Iran also announced that a new round of talks with the IAEA will be held in Vienna on Sept. 27, the first since moderate Rouhani took office in August.
Rouhani said that he would conduct "serious talks" with the world powers and will be "transparent" over the country's sensitive nuclear program.
"The West should know that success will not be achieved through threats and pressures on the Iranians," Rouhani said on Tuesday, adding that "however, if they use the language of logic and rationality and observe respect as well as equal footing in the talks, the Iranian government will be ready to enter (serious) negotiations with them."
Perhaps, the new round of nuclear negotiations will take place in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting, which will be continued with the powers later in another place, he said.
On Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said any negotiations that would be carried out in New York will serve as the introductory meetings to the upcoming official talks between Iran and the P5+1 group, namely the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany.
On the same day, Rouhani appointed former Defense Minister Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani as secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), semi-official Fars news agency reported.
Shamkhani will replace former hardliner SNSC secretary Saeed Jalili who also served as the country's chief nuclear negotiator from October 2007 to September 2013.
During the six years when Jalili was responsible for international negotiations over Iran's nuclear program, the West exerted successive pressures on Iran's energy and financial sectors. As the result, Iran's economy was badly hurt, local currency was depreciated against foreign currencies and inflation soared to a high level.
Shamkhani was Iran's defense minister from August 1997 to August 2005 under the government of reformist President Mohammad Khatami. He also served as the former commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) naval forces. He is currently the director of the Iranian Armed Forces' Center for Strategic Studies and military advisor to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
To prepare for the upcoming nuclear talks with the world powers, Rouhani has tasked the foreign ministry with the upcoming negotiations last week, aiming to reduce the influence of some of the hardline SNSC members.
Zarif, the country's new foreign minister, is a veteran diplomat over Iran's controversial nuclear program and was a member of the Iranian nuclear negotiating team, led by Rouhani, from 2003 to 2005. He said that no change in the principles over the nuclear program of the country will take place but the tactics to deal with the P5+1 group will be reconsidered.
After the victory of Rouhani in Iran's presidential elections, both the Iranian government and the six world powers showed interest in resuming nuclear talks. Their last round of negotiations held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in April, but the meeting did not produce practical results.
Western states have been long accusing Iran of developing nuclear weapon under cover of civilian nuclear program, but Iran says the suspicion is baseless.