Iranian regime President Hassan Rouhani addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Monday afternoon, discussing matters such as the Hajj pilgrimage disaster and the Iran nuclear deal. Rouhani also jabbed the “Zionist regime” of Israel and demanded it surrender its nuclear weapons. He topped off his speech by concluding that U.S. and Israel are to blame for regional terrorism
It must be noted, however, that Rouhani does not share the same executive authority as his counterparts at the General Assembly debate, as any of his decisions can be overruled by Iran’s dictator, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
As a leader in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Rouhani began the speech by “praising Allah and his Prophet Muhammad.”
“I’m speaking on behalf of a great nation who is mourning the loss of thousands of Muslim pilgrims and hundreds of its own citizens,” Rouhani said of the recent stampede disaster during the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, where a reported 750+ were killed.
Attacking Saudi authorities, Rouhani said that the victims of the disaster “fell victim to the incompetence and mismanagement of those in charge.”
“Public opinion demands that Saudi Arabian officials promptly fulfill their international obligations and grant immediate consular access for the expeditious identification and return of the cherished bodies and remained,” he added.
Moving to Iran’s relationship with the international community, Rouhani said that he was “proud” to start a “new chapter” of engagement with the world.
He then praised the Iran nuclear deal and the negotiating partners involved. Rouhani appreciated that the deal was unanimously approved by the UN Security Council.
Rouhani frowned upon “any actor in the international system who pursues maximalist demands and does not allow space for the other side cannot speak of peace, stability, and development.”
Rouhani cited a supposed fatwa from Iran’s Supreme Leader and said Iran “has never had the intention of producing a nuclear weapon, and therefore sanctions resolutions against Iran were unjust and illegal.” He added that “sanctions by the Security Council and unilateral sanctions by some countries were based on elusive and baseless allegations.”
The Iranian President demanded that nuclear-capable states, and specifically Israel, completely disarm their arsenals.
Rouhani urged international actors “not to allow the Zionist regime (Israel) to remain the only impediment in the way of realizing this important” goal of a nuclear-free Middle East.
He warned that the “turmoil” in North Africa and the Middle East could spread throughout the world, saying that we should worry about “terrorist nations becoming terrorist states.”
Rouhani blamed the issues with Islamic terrorism in the Middle East on its “underlying social, economic, and cultural problems,” citing the nuclear deal as a way to restore international order.
Iran’s President called for regional partners to provide a “united front against extremism and violence.” He blamed the unrest in the Middle East not on Islamic extremism, but on the “international community” that “has failed them.” The “newcomers to the region and naive trans-regional actors” are to blame, he said.
“If we did not have the U.S. military invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the U.S.’s unwarranted support for the actions of the Zionist regime against the oppressed nation of Palestine, today the terrorists would not have an excuse for the justification for their crimes,” he concluded.
U.S. allies in the region “only cultivate the seeds of extremism and division,” he said, likely referring to Israel and the Sunni states. “This must be brought to an end and its actions must be made compatible with the realities of the region.”
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