Rouhani at the U.N.

Submitted by Anonymous on Tue, 10/01/2019 - 16:27
October 1, 2019

On September 23, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani arrived in New York City to attend the U.N. General Assembly. In his address to world leaders, Rouhani accused the United States of “economic terrorism.” He said Tehran would not enter talks on its nuclear program or other issues unless the United States lifts sanctions. “The only way for talks to begin is to return to commitments and compliance,” he said on September 25. The president also chided Europe for its inability to implement its obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Later in his speech, Rouhani argued that foreign forces, including the U.S. military, cannot ensure the security and stability of the Persian Gulf region. He called for a “Coalition for Hope” or “Hormuz Peace Endeavor” to “promote peace, stability, progress and welfare for all the residents of the Strait of Hormuz region and enhance mutual understanding and peaceful and friendly relations amongst them.” He listed potential areas for cooperation “such as the collective supply of energy security, freedom of navigation and free transfer of oil and other resources to and from the Strait of Hormuz and beyond.” The following are Rouhani’s remarks as prepared along with other comments from his trip to New York.

 

U.N. Address 9/25/19

Mr. President; 

I would like to congratulate your deserved election as the president of the seventy-fourth General Assembly of the United Nations, and wish success and good luck for Your Excellency and the honourable Secretary General.

At the outset, I would like to commemorate the freedom-seeking movement of Hossein (PBUH), and pay homage to all the freedom-seekers of the world who do not bow to oppression and aggression, and tolerate all the hardships of the struggle for rights, as well as to the spirits of all the oppressed martyrs of terrorist strikes and bombardment in Yemen, Syria, Occupied Palestine, Afghanistan and other countries of the world.

On Regional Tensions

Ladies and Gentlemen; 

The Middle East is burning in the flames of war, bloodshed, aggression, occupation and religious and sectarian fanaticism and extremism. And under such circumstances, the suppressed people of Palestine are the biggest victim. Discrimination, appropriation of lands, settlement expansions and killings continue to be practiced against the Palestinians.

The U.S.- and Zionist-imposed plans, such as “the deal of century”, recognizing Beit-ul Moqaddas [Jerusalem] as the capital of the Zionist regime, and the accession of the Syrian Golan to the other occupied territories are doomed to fail.

In contrast to the U.S.’ destructive plans, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s regional and international assistance and cooperation on security and counter-terrorism have been much decisive. The clear example of such an approach is our cooperation with Russia and Turkey within the Astana format on the Syrian crisis, and our peace proposal for Yemen in view of our active cooperation with the special envoys of the Secretary General of the United Nations as well as our efforts to facilitate reconciliation talks among the Yemeni parties, which resulted in the conclusion of the Stockholm peace accord on Hodaida Port.

On the United States

Distinguished Participants; 

I hail from a country that has resisted the most merciless economic terrorism, and has defended its right to independence and to science and technology development. The U.S. government, while imposing extraterritorial sanctions and threats against other nations, has made many efforts to deprive Iran from the advantages of participating in the global economy, and has resorted to international piracy by misusing the international banking system.

We Iranians have been the pioneers of freedom-seeking movements in the region, while seeking peace and progress for our nation as well as for our neighbors, and we have never surrendered to foreign aggression and imposition. We cannot believe in the invitation to negotiation by people who claim to have applied the harshest sanctions of history against the dignity and prosperity of our nation. How can one believe that the silent killing of a great nation and pressure on the life of 83 million Iranians, especially women and children, are welcomed by the American government officials who pride themselves on such pressures and addictively exploit sanctions against a spectrum of countries such as Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, China and Russia. The Iranian nation will never ever forget and forgive these crimes and criminals.

Ladies and Gentlemen; 

The attitude of the incumbent U.S. government towards the nuclear deal (or the JCPOA) not only violates the provisions of UN Security Council Resolution 2231, but also constitutes a breach of the sovereignty and political and economic independence of all the countries of the world.

In spite of the American withdrawal from the JCPOA, and for one year, Iran remained fully faithful to all its nuclear commitments in accordance with the JCPOA. Out of respect for the Security Council resolution, we provided Europe with the opportunity to fulfil its 11 commitments made to compensate for the effects of the U.S. withdrawal. However, unfortunately, we only heard nice words while witnessing no effective measures.

It has now become clear for all that the United States turns its back on its commitments and Europe is unable and incapable of fulfilling its commitments. We even adopted a step-by-step approach in implementing paragraphs 26 and 36 of the JCPOA. And we remain committed to our promises in the deal. However, our patience has a limit: when the U.S. does not respect the United Nations Security Council, and when Europe displays inability, the only way shall be to rely on national dignity, pride and strength.

They call us to negotiation while they run away from treaties and deals. We negotiated with the incumbent U.S. government at the 5+1 negotiating table; however, the U.S. has failed to honour the commitment made by their predecessor.

On behalf of my nation and state, I would like to announce that our response to any negotiation under sanctions is in the negative. The government and people of Iran have remained steadfast against the harshest sanctions in the past one and a half years, and will never negotiate with an enemy that seeks to force Iran to surrender with the weapon of poverty, pressure and sanction.

If you require a positive answer, and as declared by the leader of the Islamic Revolution, the only way for talks to begin is return to commitments and compliance.

If you are sensitive to the name of the JCPOA, well, then you can simply return to its framework and abide by UN Security Council Resolution 2231. Stop the sanctions so as to open the way for the start of negotiations.
I would like to make it crystal clear: If you are satisfied with minimums, we will also be working with the minimums; either for you or for us. However, if you require more, you should also give more.

If you stand by your word that you only have one demand for Iran, i.e. non-production and non-utilization of nuclear weapons, then that can easily be attained with IAEA supervision and more importantly, with the fatwa of the Iranian leader. Instead of a “show” of negotiation, you should return to the reality of negotiation. A memorial photo is the last step of negotiation; not the first one.

We in Iran, despite all the obstructions created by the U.S. government, are staying on the path of economic and social growth and prosperity. Iran’s economy in 2017 registered the highest economic growth rate in the world. And today, despite fluctuations emanating from foreign interference during the past one and a half years, we have returned to the track of growth and stability. Iran’s gross domestic product minus oil has become positive again in recent months. And the trade balance of the country remains positive.

On the "Coalition for Hope"

Distinguished Participants;

The security doctrine of the Islamic Republic of Iran is based on the maintenance of peace and stability in the Persian Gulf and providing freedom of navigation and safety of movement in the Strait of Hormuz. Recent incidents have seriously endangered such security. Security and peace in the Persian Gulf, Sea of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz could be provided with the participation of the countries of the region and the free flow of oil and other energy resources could be guaranteed, provided that we consider security as an umbrella in all areas for all the countries.

Based upon the historical responsibility of my country in maintaining security, peace, stability and progress in the Persian Gulf region and Strait of Hormuz, I would like to invite all the countries directly affected by the developments in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz to the “Coalition for Hope”, meaning Hormuz Peace Endeavour.
The goal of the Coalition for Hope is to promote peace, stability, progress and welfare for all the residents of the Strait of Hormuz region, and to enhance mutual understanding and peaceful and friendly relations amongst them.
This initiative includes various venues for cooperation, such as the collective supply of energy security, freedom of navigation and free transfer of oil and other resources to and from the Strait of Hormuz and beyond.

The Coalition for Hope is based on important principles such as compliance with the goals and principles of the United Nations, mutual respect, equal footing, dialog and understanding, respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty, inviolability of international borders, the peaceful settlement of all disputes, and more importantly, the two fundamental principles of non-aggression and non-interference in the domestic affairs of each other. The presence of the United Nations is necessary for the creation of an international umbrella in support of the Coalition for Hope.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran shall provide more details of the Coalition for Hope to the beneficiary states.

Ladies and Gentlemen; 

The formation of any security coalition and initiative under any title in the region with the centrality and command of foreign forces is a clear example of interference in the affairs of the region. The securitization of navigation is in contravention of the right to free navigation and the right to development, and will escalate tensions and further complication of conditions, and increase of mistrust in the region, while jeopardizing regional peace, security and stability.

The security of the region shall be provided when American troops pull out. Security shall not be supplied with American weapons and intervention. The United States, after 18 years, has failed to reduce acts of terrorism. However, the Islamic Republic of Iran managed to terminate the scourge of Daesh with the assistance of neighboring nations and governments. The ultimate path towards peace and security in the Middle East passes through inward democracy and outward diplomacy. Security cannot be purchased or supplied by foreign governments.

The peace, security and independence of our neighbors are the peace, security and independence of us. America is not our neighbor. It is the Islamic Republic of Iran that neighbors you, and we have been long taught that the neighbor comes first, then the house. In the event of an incident, you and we shall remain alone. We are neighbors with each other, and not with the United States.

The United States is located here, not in the Middle East. The United States is not the advocate of any nation; neither is it the guardian of any state. In fact, states do not delegate power of attorney to other states and do not give custodianship to others. If the flames of the fire of Yemen have spread today to Hijaz, the warmonger should be sought and punished; rather than leveling allegations and begrudging the innocents. The security of Saudi Arabia shall be guaranteed with the termination of aggression against Yemen rather than by inviting foreigners to the region. We are ready to spend our national strength and regional credibility and international authority.

The solution for peace in the Arabian Peninsula, security in the Persian Gulf and stability in the Middle East should be sought inside the region rather than outside of it. The issues of the region are bigger and more important than the United States is able to resolve. The United States has failed to resolve the issues in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, and has been the supporter of extremism, Talibanism and Daeshism. Such a government is clearly unable to resolve more sophisticated issues.

Distinguished Colleagues; 

Our region is on the edge of collapse, as a single blunder can fuel a big fire. We shall not tolerate the provocative intervention of foreigners. We shall respond decisively and strongly to any sort of transgression to and violation of our security and territorial integrity.

However, the alternative and proper solution for us is to strengthen consolidation among all the nations with common interests in the Persian Gulf and the Hormuz region.

This is the message of the Iranian nation:

Let us invest on hope towards a better future rather than in war and violence. Let us return to justice; to peace; to law, commitment and promise and the negotiating table.

I thank you for your attention.


Press Conference 9/26/19

On U.S. diplomacy and the nuclear deal: "Our best hope is for the United States government to pursue right policies, whomever that person may be heading the executive branch or from whichever party, whether it be Mr. Trump or another individual. If the right policies are chosen that benefit the people of America, the people of our region, the people of the world, then of course that benefits everyone equally. If America wishes today to talk and, after two years, reach a conclusion, an agreement and then sign that agreement, and after a few months change its mind and say, "Well that wasn't such a good agreement. I'm seeking something else now." In Persian, we say, "Some just make frivolous excuses. Any day that they are faced with problems, they make other parties responsible for those problems."

"What we announce are our policies. Now, if we want to put percentages on the possibility of that [sanctions being lifted] occurring, at any time a country can feel that her previous policies were wrong and return to the correct path. So, what we say is for America to take the preconditions off the table. The precondition of America is, if it wishes to talk to Iran, the condition is that the sanctions and maximum pressure upon the Iranian people must be implemented and then enter into talks, we say this is the wrong precondition. This must be taken off the table. The sanctions must be dissolved. Cease this policy of maximum pressure and pursue a policy of dialogue and logic and reason, and to seek that which benefits the world and America. If we reach a time when these preconditions are taken off the table, of course the possibility exists to talk with America."

On a broader deal: "What we believe in is that the JCPOA is not a maximum form of agreement. It is what was impossible at its time. What was attainable at its time and agreed upon by all involved parties. And it must be implemented. Now, if we wish to take a step above and beyond the JCPOA, that is possible. But the proper foundation would lie upon the full and exact implementation of the JCPOA first, which means we must all be united in the equal implementation of it. But at the same time, we can talk and conduct talks about actions above and beyond. And we made it very specific in which fields or on which subject matters we were willing to talk. Vis-a-vis the missiles, it is to everyone's benefit for them to not ask us because they would end up owing us much much more than fathomable because the Americans and the Europeans have been sending and are sending so many weapons, and missiles, and missile systems to the region. If they wish to even start talking about missile activity, the first thing they should do logically is stop the distribution and sale of those weapons to the region.

"Perhaps, in the same way that they are selling weapons to our neighbors, they should make them available for sale to us as well. Those limitations within the JCPOA according to the U.N. agreement is coming to an end in a short period of time. So, again I do think they should not touch upon this topic because, as I said, they would end up owing us much due to their activities and their positions. But about other issues, I think we can talk to one and other. The limits and limitations of those talks we have spoken about the details of those talks with Europeans, and those talks have been transferred to the American side as well."

On the Saudi oil attacks and Yemen: "We have nothing to do with it. There is a bloody war in the region, a futile and wrong war that consists of the aggression against Yemen. And the people of Yemen have a legitimate right to self-defense. And all of the world knows that the Yemeni forces, and the Yemeni armed forces, do possess longer-range missiles as well as unmanned aerial vehicles. And they have previously attacked different regions of Saudi Arabia. Those who accuse others, those are the parties who should be held responsible to show proof, to show evidence, to back up those allegations or accusations. If this attack didn't come from the south, it came from the north, the west or the east. Those who make the allegations must provide the needed proof to back up such allegations."

"In regards to my interactions with some of the European countries that had made such wrong expressions, I asked them, "What is your proof? What is your evidence?" They responded by saying, "Well we don't have such documentation or evidence, but we thought that the abilities of the Yemeni armed forces was less than what is required to carry out such an attack. And I told them in response that "your lack of updated information on the ground about the Yemeni capabilities leads you to such conclusions, but if you do have any evidence or documentation, please do make that available to me, because I am quite keen on seeing that." 

“So, I'm saying something different here. Instead of hurling accusations and allegations, let's all join hands and put an end to the fire of war that is ravaging the region. I suggest to America, France, the United Kingdom, and Germany, those who are constantly supplying weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates aimed at killing the people of Yemen, they should stop the export and supply of such weapons. They should pressure Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for peace. The people of Yemen, and the forces of Yemen a few days ago announced that they stand ready for a complete cease fire and have ceased all of its activities on condition that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates would also cease theirs. But unfortunately, after this announcement from the Yemenis, we have witnessed an ongoing attack of aircraft from those two countries.”

On detainees and hostages: “You are very well aware that on different occasions in the paste, we held talks with American officials aimed at the freeing of prisoners held in both countries. At times we did succeed, meaning that the Americans or the dual citizens were freed and, in return, the Iranians held here were freed as well. And with Mr. Trump's administration, we started this type of discussion a couple of different times to speak about the prisoners and once the Americans announced that at least one of those held in Iran would be freed we would take that as a gesture of good will and we would reciprocate. This happened on the Iranian side. A dual citizen that had Lebanese and American citizenship was freed. Instead of the Americans taking reciprocal steps and free an Iranian or more, they only thanked Iran. They only made an expression. So we have always been ready to do this. We will always be ready, but the ball today stands in America's court.”

On regional tensions: "And during this gathering at the General Assembly, we gave the Hormuz Peace Endeavor, the peace plan offered, and what we mean by that is in the Strait of Hormuz, the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman, the only way that exists is constructive dialogue between countries of the region, understanding between those countries and cooperation toward security and an end to the war in Yemen, which can guarantee the security of the region."

U.S. ban on senior Iranian officials and their families: "Well, we have been faced with this very problem from before. The Iranians who sought to enter the United States faced problems, and even recently during a scientific competition, an academic scientific competition centering on aerospace, a team of our students from Shahid Technical University were supposed to participate, were set to participate in this competition in the United States. They were not granted visas to enter the country and participate, and they were forced to participate via video conferencing. And in fact, they won the competition."

"But for us, a government that reaches this point, to pick a fight against science, to pick a fight against healthcare, to pick a fight against those who are ill and are seeking treatment, and those who wish to see their loved ones, to me, this really shows the wrong policy of this government. So Iranians, there is no love affair for them to want to come to the United States. If we come here, it doesn't mean that we aim to come here with on purpose. And of course, I'm not saying that we have a problem with the nation, with the people of America. The reason why we come her is because the United Nations is here, and America does not have the right to impede the coming and goings of officials from the United Nations, because the United Nations serves as the home of all governments and all nations throughout the world. This is the house of peace, the house of communications with one another, and America must not take advantage of its position as a host and only grant visas to who America likes."

"Yes, if someone wishes to travel to America, that's their prerogative to grant visa or not, but to come to the United Nations, particularly Muslim countries, particularly third-world countries, even neighboring countries, such as Mexico, even they are facing problems as far as being able to enter the United States. I think this path that America has chosen does not benefit anyone."

President Macron’s efforts to mediate between Iran and the United States: “Of course, the president of France has been seeking for months to find a solution for this problem. We were carrying forward two solutions, the European solution and the American solution. The European solution, in that framework, we reached certain agreements, and it was in the implementation stage when they said, "Well, in some form, to implement and make actionable the European solution, we need the American approval." So this is their problem. It has little or nothing to do with us. Of course, always Mr. Macron has been pursuing this line as well that the better solution would be to resolve the problem between Iran and America. And we have said it, and I said it during this press conference as well that America must do away and take off the table the preconditions. And if they do so, of course the ground would be laid for certain new conditions which can be considered. Of course, during the meetings that we've had in the past few days in New York City, we have talked about different positions, held different discussions. And I don't want to say that such plans will never be realized, but thus far during this visit, we have not reached a point of confirmation.”

Iran’s rollback of nuclear deal commitments: "We have announced that the third step in decrease of JCPOA commitments by us was that. The limitations that we had vis-a-vis research and development within the framework of the JCPOA, we have left those limitations. We have taken those limitations off the table. We announced it formally. We announced it to the IAEA as well. But I want to share a very important point with you. The supervision and the inspections of the International Atomic Energy Agency have not been limited or decreased. The IAEA, in the same fashion since the beginning of the JCPOA in 2005, was supervising and inspecting and carrying forward its activities in Iran. Today, it is carrying forward those activities in the same manner. Some of the commitments in the JCPOA have been decreased and one of them was in the field of research and development. Now there is no talk of increasing the enrichment level. That's not the scope of what we’re doing. Our scope is research and development. And advance centrifuges, we were supposed to start the chain of those advanced centrifuges. That scheduled has been moved up. So we have gotten around to that sooner. Once this chain is completely, of course, it will be made active. The only purview of this is research and development with no other ends or objectives. You are quite right, but the important point is that we announced it ahead of time transparently."

"What we have announced, even previously, our commitments within the JCPOA are bilateral, multilateral. Some of those commitment we have to fulfill. Other commitments our counterparts have to fulfill. What we have witnessed in the last few months have become a unilateral set of commitments that had to be implemented. In other words, we were living up to our commitments fully, and they kept decreasing their commitments. We wanted to create a balance. Just as they were decreasing their commitments, we wished to decrease ours as well. And this is a formula that had been envisaged in paragraphs 26 and 36 of the JCPOA. If one side does not live up to and fulfill part of their commitments, the other side can, to the same degree, decrease its commitments. So, what we do is a decrease of commitments within the JCPOA. Therefore, we announced that the decrease of our commitments is in such a fashion that is reversible."

"In other words, this very hour that we are talking to each other here, if the 4+1 announced that we will fulfill all of our commitments, immediately we will also return to all of our commitments within the JCPOA. The temporary actions that we are taking will be reversed to the previous status. So were not seeking nuclear weapons. Our nuclear activities are completely under the purview and inspections of the IAEA. We are not after maximum pressure, or medium pressure, or low pressure. We seek the proper execution of the JCPOA. So if we do not lessen our commitments, as envisaged in articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA then that means we are not fully implementing the JCPOA. We are using the tools brought into the JCPOA to live up to our commitments. Therefore, we hope that everyone returns to full implementation."

European efforts to salvage the nuclear deal: "Following the unilateral exit of the United States of America from the JCPOA, the remaining parties, which are the 4+1, held meetings at the different levels and promised us that they would be able to make up for the exit of the United States from the deal and for the JCPOA to continue. We were not happy to see the JCPOA damaged and wanted to do everything we could within our power for the JCPOA to remain steadfast. So we listened to them, to their plans and proposals. The Europeans set forth many plans. Initially, they told us we will go through central banks in order to conduct transactions and business with you. After a few months, they said, "We have run into problems with our central banks, so we will go through another financial system -- a special purpose vehicle or SPV if you will. So through that we will conduct financial affairs with you." After a few months, they came back and said, "This system has run into challenges as well. And now we'll go through another system called INSTEX." This, thus far, this last one even in practice hasn't been able to stand on its feet." 

"So, unfortunately, when it comes to actions, Europe has demonstrated its inability or lack of willingness or perhaps it wishes to not pay anything for the agreement that it is apart of because maybe it emanates from a mentality that says, "I wish to stay in this multi-lateral agreement, but I wish to put all of the costs and the burdens on the shoulder of Iran." So, we kept trying, we are still talking to them. Our distinguished foreign minister, during the last few days that he's been in New York City, has had meetings with the 4+1 representatives, and perhaps other talks will continue, but thus far, unfortunately, they have not succeeded. 

"About four months ago, we announced to them that if you are not able to adhere to your commitments, we will also gradually decrease our commitments in two steps, in two phases. We decreased our commitments, and during the third step, which was announced and began, we hope that before we reach the end of the 60 day period that we have given, we can reach an agreement. But if they can't adhere to their commitments, of course we will take further steps."

On Syria: "During the most recent gathering we had in Ankara, Turkey, in which the three presidents of the three countries, Mr. Putin, Mr. Erdogan, and myself held the discussions. One of the discussions was the topic of security in northern Syria. This is the right of the Turkish government to have security along its borders. But on the other side, it is very important to us as well that the Syrian territorial integrity be maintained. We believe and we have said it in the trilateral talks before that the best solution is that the Americans would exit Syria because part of the problems in northern Syria is being created by American themselves. For the Americans, therefore, to leave Idlib in which terrorists have congregated. It must be cleansed of the terrorist presence, and the Syrian army must be placed along the Turkish border. This is the best solution. Instead of the Turkish army to go along the border, or even over the border and establish itself on Syrian territory. For the Turkish army to remain inside Turkish territory, and the Syrian army be allowed to come to its northern borders and commit mutually to the security of the border lines. This is the solution we offered in the trilateral meetings, and we do hope that the best solution will be found."
 

Interview with Fox News  9/24/19

On potentially meeting Trump at the U.N.: "Why would we bump into one another? If we seek to pursue higher goals to benefit both countries, both people, it must be planned, and talks must be based on those plans. But prior to that, we must create mutual trust, and that trust is something that Mr. Trump took away from this framework. We had an agreement. Mr. Trump exited, without a valid justification and illegally, from an international agreement. So, if the United States of America’s government is willing to talk, it must create the needed conditions.”

On U.S. sanctions: “The restoration of trust consists in taking away the pressure imposed upon the nation and the people of Iran which show that clearly there is animosity even towards our children, our ill people, because we -- they even have difficulty in obtaining basic medications and medical equipment. This is a type of terrorism. This is inhumane, and if there is a cessation to this, then, of course, the atmosphere will change. Of course, then it can be envisioned, and we can talk about many different topics of mutual interest for both sides."

On Iran’s alleged responsibility for the attack on Saudi oil facilities: “Mr. Trump has leveled an unfounded accusation against Iran. When the Saudi Arabian spokesperson announced that the equipment by which the attacks were conducted were not Yemeni because on the weapons they saw the name ‘Ya Ali.’ Well, there are Shi’ites in Yemen as well. So that spokesperson who thinks all Iranians are Shiites and Yemeni are not Shiites, that person is mistaken. Ya Ali is a chant and a slogan of aspiration that is chanted in Iraq, in Yemen, in Iran. So quite frankly, it is really egregious for someone to say because of the words ‘Ya Ali,’ for them to attribute that to Iran.”

On U.S. defensive equipment sent to Saudi Arabia: “But let’s assume, if it was from Iran – all the monies received from the United States for these defensive systems, for these weapon systems, for these radar systems installed in Saudi Arabia and throughout the Arabian Peninsula – how come they were not able to prevent the missile from hitting the target? So what was the point of selling all those Patriot anti-missile systems? That’s quite frankly even worse. If we accept the U.S. accusation, then it is even more embarrassing perhaps for the United States.”

On the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA): “If we were seeking nuclear weapons, we would not have signed onto the JCPOA. If we sought nuclear weapons, we would not have accepted the [IAEA] Additional Protocols… we are not seeking nuclear weapons.” 

On Syria: “The country that is present and flying over the air space of and bombarding the soil of the country of Syria without permission of the government is the United States of America."

On Israel: “On a daily basis, [Israel] has targeted the people of Palestine, Lebanon, and most recently, even Iraq, as well as Syria. There is no terrorism throughout the world that matches the activities of Israel.”

 

Interview with Reuters  9/24/19

On the JCPOA: Rouhani said he would be open to discuss “small changes, additions or amendments” if sanctions are lifted.

 

Interview with The Associated Press  9/24/19

On tensions with the U.S.: “No tangible evidence” of a change in U.S. stance since the departure of National Security Advisor John Bolton. 

 

Remarks on Iranian State Television  9/23/19

On U.S. sanctions: Americans are sanctioning institutions that have already been blacklisted. This signals America’s complete desperation and shows that it’s “maximum pressure” has failed ... as the great Iranian nation has resisted successfully,” Rouhani said in remarks carried by state television.