Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has said negotiation is the only way to break the impasse over the Islamic Republic's controversial nuclear program.

"Reaching a deal with Iran would be to the benefit of all parties, especially regional countries. The only solution to the nuclear issue is negotiation," he told the UN General Assembly on Thursday. 

He added that delays in finding an agreement would "increase the price to pay."

Talks on Iran’s nuclear program, which began in February and have been extended to November 24, are due to resume in New York on Friday. Preparatory discussions took place Thursday.

Iran is accused of seeking to weaponize its nuclear program, which it claims is only for medical and civil use.

In his speech, Rouhani also condemned extremism. He said: "Today if we do not fight against radicalism and violence with all our strength, tomorrow the world will not be a safe place for anyone."

There have been media reports that Iran is seeking to link its cooperation in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to the nuclear talks in a bid to secure leniency in the negotiations.

Anadolu Agency