In his first speech to the United Nations General Assembly today, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani called for an end to violence and extremism, and warned against what he termed “Iranphobic discourses.”
Rouhani claimed that the “Iranian threat” has been employed as an excuse for crimes in the Middle East over the past three decades, citing as examples the military intervention in Afghanistan, the arming of the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq, and the assassinations of senior Iranian political figures.
“Iran poses absolutely no threat to the world or the region,” he stated, adding that his country is willing to hold time-bound talks on its nuclear program. At the same time, he called on the world to recognize his country’s right to enrich uranium and insisted that Iran’s nuclear program is a peaceful one.
While he did not specifically name Israel, Rouhani denounced the “occupation of the Palestinian people”, claiming that they suffer from “structural violence.”
“Palestine is under occupation, their basic rights are violated and they are deprived of the right of return to their homeland,” he claimed, adding that there are “crimes and institutionalized aggression against innocent Palestinian people.”
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