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Iran's president: Nuclear negotiations with world powers a matter of 'heart,' not centrifuges

FLE - In this file photo taken Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani briefs media prior to departing Mehrabad airport to attend the United Nations General Assembly, in Tehran, Iran. Rouhani said Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015, that ongoing nuclear negotiations with world powers are a matter of "heart," not just centrifuges ahead of talks next week in Geneva. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

FLE - In this file photo taken Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani briefs media prior to departing Mehrabad airport to attend the United Nations General Assembly, in Tehran, Iran. Rouhani said Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015, that ongoing nuclear negotiations with world powers are a matter of "heart," not just centrifuges ahead of talks next week in Geneva. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)  (The Associated Press)

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has said ongoing nuclear negotiations with world powers are a matter of "heart" — not just centrifuges.

Rouhani made the comments Sunday at a conference in Tehran.

He asked if "we are ready to stop some types of enrichment which we do not need at this time, does it mean we have compromised our principles and cause?"

He responded by saying: "Our cause is not linked to a centrifuge. It is connected to our heart and to our willpower." He later added that the discussion also involves "foreign policy interests, not principles and ideals."

The next round of nuclear talks with world powers is set to begin Jan. 15 in Geneva. Negotiators hope to reach a final agreement by June 30.