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Long way to go before Tehran-Washington relations: President Rouhani

26 September 2015 11:50



Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says there is still a long way to go before the Islamic Republic and the United States can reduce long-lasting tensions and enmities. 

It is difficult to put aside years of “differences and hostilities” between Iran and the US, Rouhani said on Friday, adding, “The Iranian people are unhappy about the policies of the US administration in the region.” The Iranian president is in New York to attend the UN General Assembly.

These problems “will not definitely be solved overnight, and we need time, prudence, and constructive measures,” he added.

Answering a question about the “Death to America” slogan chanted by the Iranians in many religious and political gatherings, Rouhani said, “There is no enmity between Iranians and Americans… The slogan symbolizes the opposition to the US policies, particularly in the Middle East.”

Quick implementation of JCPOA

The Iranian president referred to the execution of the recent nuclear agreement between Tehran and the P5+1 group of countries, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as a significant test for the United States.

“The full implementation of the nuclear agreement is a big test of confidence… The [anti-Iran] sanctions should be fully lifted in order for Iranians to feel that negotiation is effective,” Rouhani stressed.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani holds a meeting with a group of senior editors from media organizations in New York, September 25, 2015. (Photo by IRNA)

Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia — plus Germany finalized the text of the JCPOA in the Austrian capital Vienna on July 14. Under the JCPOA, limits will be put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all economic and financial bans against the Islamic Republic.

The Iranian president further noted that the nuclear agreement should be implemented despite the oppositions. “Disagreements and agreements [with the JCPOA] in Iran and the US are natural. In Iran, a vast majority of people are in favor of the agreement and a minority against it. It is important to execute the JCPOA” by the end of the year, Rouhani said.

Hajj disaster

Rouhani expressed sadness over the recent tragedy in Mina, outside the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, calling on Saudi authorities to better manage the hajj rituals.

The Saudi government is expected to “reconsider the Hajj management process, and be committed to providing security and safety for all pilgrims.”

According to reports, about 2,000 pilgrims, including at least 130 Iranians, lost their lives in the Mina catastrophic event on Thursday after huge pilgrim processions were joined in their course.

The Mina tragic event happened days after a massive construction crane collapsed into Mecca’s Grand Mosque, and killed nearly 110 people and injured about 400 more.

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