Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will convey the Iranian nation’s message of peace during his visit to New York to attend the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly, says Iran’s Foreign Ministry.
The Iranian president arrived in New York City for the annual General Assembly meeting on Monday. Rouhani is scheduled to deliver a speech to the Assembly on September 24.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham said at her weekly press conference on Tuesday that the message of the Iranian nation, to be relayed by President Rouhani, is one of peace based on constructive interaction with other countries.
On September 25, President Rouhani is due to address the special session of the Nuclear Disarmament Conference as the current chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
The Iranian president will also address the foreign ministers of the NAM member states, that constitute nearly two-thirds of the countries of the UN.
Afkham added that during his speeches, Rouhani will elaborate on the stances of the Islamic Republic on the recent developments in the region and the world as well as the important incidents that have affected security, peace and peaceful coexistence at the international level.
Commenting on the meeting between Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and British Foreign Secretary William Hague in New York, Afkham said it was constructive and provided an opportunity for the two officials to discuss bilateral, regional and international issues.
The meeting, arranged at the request of the British Foreign Office, was held at the UN headquarters in New York City on Monday.
Referring to the upcoming talks between Zarif and the foreign ministers of China, France, Germany, and Russia, and the US secretary of state as well as the UK foreign secretary on September 26, Afkham said that the meeting, scheduled for Thursday, will mark the beginning of a new period in the nuclear negotiations.
Possibility of Rouhani meeting Obama
Responding to a question on whether Iran would welcome a potential meeting between Rouhani and his American counterpart Barack Obama on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York, Afkham said Iran is not after a meeting per se, but has frameworks for the pursuit of its interest.
This meeting should take place on an appropriate occasion, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said, adding, however, that in Iran's view, no such occasion has arisen yet.
The comment comes amid media speculations that President Rouhani and President Obama may meet on the sidelines of the annual UN meeting, which would be the first such meeting since Iran's Islamic Revolution of 1979.
On September 19, White House spokesman Jay Carney talked about the possibility of a meeting between Obama and Rouhani in New York.
In an interview with the American channel NBC, the Iranian president did not rule out the possibility.
Iran and the IAEA
Commenting on the new round of talks between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over the country’s nuclear energy program, which is scheduled to be held in Vienna on September 27, Afkham said the Islamic Republic is after “positive interaction” with the Agency.
“We merely seek to exercise our rights based on the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT); we want joint cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency,” said the Iranian diplomat.
Crisis in Syria
Afkham touched upon Rouhani’s recent announcement, published in an op-ed in the Washington Post
on September 19, that Tehran is ready to broker talks between the Syrian government and its opposition coalition.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran, prior to this [opinion piece] had always stressed [the necessity for] adopting a diplomatic approach and using a political solution to settle the crisis in Syria, and Mr. Rouhani’s article was based on this framework,” she said.
Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since March 2011. According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed due to the foreign-sponsored violence.
Iran’s relations with Saudi Arabia and Egypt
Commenting on the future relations between Tehran, Riyadh and Cairo, the Iranian official stated that the Islamic Republic has always stressed the need for convergence and cooperation among Middle Eastern countries in line with the interests of the region.