Rouhani 3: Press Conference in New York

September 23, 2016

On September 22, President Hassan Rouhani gave wide ranging comments on the nuclear deal’s implementation, U.S.-Iran relations, the Syrian war, Saudi Arabia, extremism, and more. He spoke to journalists after delivering an address to the U.N. General Assembly in New York. The following are excerpted remarks arranged by topic.


The United States

Hassan Rouhani“The next U.S. administration will receive a proper response from Iran should it respect the Islamic Republic’s national interests and reduce tensions. But if it seeks to heighten tensions, new conditions will be created for the two countries.”

“We have always maintained good and positive relations with the nation and the people of the United States of America. If we have issues, those are with the United States government, not with the companies [and] the people of the United States.”

“We have no issues for traders, technicians business owners, company representatives to come to Iran.”


The Nuclear Deal

“Fortunately, after months of discussion between the Islamic Republic of Iran and 6 major world powers we were able to agree on the most complicated and important international issues.”

“After the JCPOA, this was proved to the world and it was a great achievement for the Iranian nation and government.”

Iran’s finance sector is “facing problems because the other side of the agreement still has to live up to its commitments.”

“As one thing they [U.S. Treasury officials] tell them [banks] 'you are free to engage with Iran in banking activity. At other times, they ... enter the arena with threats.”

“They frighten, they scare the banks. This is something we oppose.”



“A no-fly zone [in Syria] will benefit terrorists, who have everything expect for military aircraft.”

“They [terrorists] have mortar shells, tanks, missiles and armored personnel carriers. They have cannons and artillery batteries but no warplanes. The creation of a no-fly zone is not a right step. This is an ill-advised suggestion.”

“If you ground flights, you are aiding the terrorists whether you like it or not because the terrorists ... are well equipped except for an air force.”

“They kill people. They burn victims alive. The crimes we witness are unprecedented in history.”


Saudi Arabia

“Saudi Arabia is making a miscalculation… About two years of bombardment of Yemen has had no achievement for them, and has been devastating for the people of Yemen.”


Regional Instability and Violence

“Today, the Middle East is facing the scourge of insecurity, violence and terrorism, and as I had warned, this instability will not limit itself to the important region of Middle East and will spread to other parts of the world like a virus.”

“I proudly announce that Iran has always been a defense barrier against terrorism and it is a major barrier against new terrorist groups. I invite all countries around the world to have an active role in combatting terrorism because it poses threats to not only our region, but also to the whole humanity and the world.”

“Our armed forces don't have a mission to be adventurous," he said. "Their only mission is to defend their territorial borders.”

Sources:, Press TV, Associated Press, The Christian Science Monitor