TODAY

TODAY   |  September 19, 2013

Iran president: ‘We believe in the ballot box’

In an exclusive interview with TODAY’s Ann Curry, newly elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani talks about Israel, his viewpoints on previous president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the Iranian people’s access to the Internet.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> now, we got that exclusive interview with iran 's new president. he is speaking out for the first time in eight years to nbc's anne curry about a wide range of topic, including nuclear weapons , his predecessor and the sensorship of iranian citizens. in tehran, where she spent time with the new leaderment anne, good morning to you.

>> reporter: savannah, good morning. iran 's new president was clearly reaching out to the west saying the time is now to make a deal. he was also trying to walk a fine line between hard line conservatives and reformers in this country when asked about the very touchy issues of human rights and israel. mr. president, these are israeli prime minister netanyau's words not mine. can you say iran will not build a nuclear weapon under any circumstances what sorry?

>> firstly, an occupier and usurper of government that does injustice to the region and has brought instability to the region with its warmongering policies shouldn't allow to give speech about a free government. we have clearly said we are not in pursuit of nuclear weapons and will not be.

>> much of what america thinks about iran is from your pred says zor and same times he made. he said the holocaust is a myth. do you agree?

>> i'm not a historian. i'm a politician. what is important for us is the country of the region and the people grow closer to each other and they are able to prevent an injustice.

>> president amadinejad had people believing he wanted to wipe people off the map. do you agree with this?

>> we believe in the ballot box . we do not seek war with any country. we seek peace and friendship among the nations of the region in there mr. president, upon your election, and you've seen these images of young people cheering in the streets, looking for change. you've said that the government should interfere less in the private lives of people. what exactly do you mean? will the government stop trying to censor the internet in iran ?

>> in the near future the government will set up a citizen rights. we want the people in their private lives to be completely free and in today's world, having access to information and the right of free dialogue and the right to think freely is the right of all people itself, including the people of iraq.

>> does that mean that people in iran will have access now to twitter and to facebook in.

>> the viewpoint of the government is that the people must have full access to all information world wide. our opinions on this should be based on the protection of our national identity and on our moral morals.

>> as for that part about the holocaust, while the president did not deny the holocaust, his non-answer will likely raise a lot of eyebrows. savannah.

>> yeah, could be telling. anne curry with an exclusive interview this morning. thank you so much.