Rouhani: Iran could hold referendum on nuclear programme

Rouhani: Iran could hold referendum on nuclear programme

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani has suggested that the Islamic Republic could hold a public referendum on its nuclear programme.

"Article 59 of the Constitution (referendum) is a deadlock breaker ... and could be a problem-solver at any junction," ILNA cited Rouhani as saying.

Rouhani’s move to put a referendum on the table could help him settle this internal dispute without losing face and provide political cover for whichever path voters backed. But there is also an alternate view that sees a referendum as a device to offer Iranian leadership a pathway back to enrichment, the Telegraph reported.

Iran has held three referendums since its 1979 Islamic revolution, the first to approve the set-up of an Islamic Republic and the second to approve and amend the constitution.

Rouhani recalled that he proposed a third, on the nuclear issue, to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei back in 2004 while negotiating the nuclear deal.