Updated 3:43pm 27 September 2013
Econintersect: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif and newly elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani have both taken the opportunity to press their case for renewed talks to resolve the nuclear impasse with the rest of the world on the occasion of the opening of the United Nations’ session in New York. The latest event in the week’s activities was sponsored this evening by the Council on Foreign Relations and the Asia Society, featuring an address by Dr. Hassan Rouhani (pictured), president of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The event this evening (26 September 2013) was the only public event outside of his UN address on Tuesday for the visit to New York. The Council on Foreign Relations has an audio of Rouhani’s remarks.
Important points from Rouhani’s address:
- We condemn the crimes of the Nazi’s during World War II (“the murder and killing of innocent people“).
- The crimes of the Nazis cannot justify the displacement of another group of people from their homes.
- The false claims of nuclear weapon development are associated with times when international pressure increases against settlements in the occupied territories.
- We “strongly condemned the use of chemical weapons in the ongoing conflict in Syria“.
- Without naming Israel directly, Rouhani clearly inferred that Iran lays blame for “baseless” accusations on that country.
Earlier in the day the U.S. and Iran met at the highest level face-to-face contact between the two countries in a generation. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif following a meeting between Iran and the P5+1 group that has been attempting to negotiate with Iran over that country’s nuclear development program. (P5+1 is comprised of China, Russia, France, UK and the U.S. plus Germany.)
Pictured above: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (extreme left), Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (second from right) and EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton (extreme right).
According to a communication from the Council on Foreign Relations, Foreign Minister Zarif made unscheduled remarks following Rouhani’s address this evening:
“We [Iran and the P5+1] agreed to jumpstart the process so that we could move forward with a view to agreeing first on the parameters of the endgame, how we want to proceed with Iran’s nuclear program in a year’s time, and also to think about steps starting with a first step that should be implemented in order to address the immediate concerns of two sides, and move towards finalizing it, hopefully within a year’s time.”
Charlie Rose asked Rouhani specifically about the holocaust:
Update, 3:43 pm 27 September 2013:
President Obama just announced in a White House press conference that he and Iranian president Hassan Rouhani had a phone conversation this afternoon. This was the first contact between the heads of state of the two countries in more than 34 years.
Reuters reported Friday afternoon that Rouhani made some final remarks before leaving New York to return to Teheran:
New Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Friday he wanted talks with major powers on Iran’s nuclear program to yield results in a short time, while France challenged Tehran to address Western concerns even sooner than it has proposed.
- What Iran’s President and Foreign Minister Said This Evening (communication to Global Economic Intersection from David Mikhail, Deputy Director, Global Communications and Media Relations, Council on Foreign Relations, 10:52 pm 26 September 2013)
- Hassan Rouhani, president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, discusses Iranian foreign policy (Audio released by Council on Foreign Relations, 26 September 2013)
- Iranian president talks to Charlie Rose about why he did not meet with Obama (CBS News, 15 September 2013)