Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is set to address the 69th session of the UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday.
The Iranian president, who is currently in New York, is scheduled to deliver his speech at the world’s largest diplomatic gathering at 9:00 am local time (1300 GMT). Rouhani will be the first top official to address the assembly on Thursday.
Rouhani’s speech will be his second at the UN General Assembly since being elected as the president of the Islamic Republic in 2013.
Rouhani’s speech will likely include issues such as Iran’s nuclear energy program as well as the threat emanating from the spread of terrorism in the Middle East region, particularly the danger the ISIL Takfiri group represents to the world.
The Iranian president has had several meetings with officials from different countries since his arrival in New York on Monday.
The Iranian chief executive had a landmark meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday. It was the first bilateral talks between a UK prime minister and an Iranian president since Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979.
Following talks with Rouhani while addressing the 69th session of the UN General Assembly on Thursday, Cameron said Iran “could be part of the solution” in defeating the ISIL terrorist group.
“Iran’s leaders could help in defeating the threat from ISIL,” Cameron added.
The ISIL terrorists are in control of some areas in Syria and have captured large swathes of land in neighboring Iraq.
Rouhani also met with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, during which the two sides discussed the issue of terrorism in the world.
“Countries which are the main victims of terrorism should presently be a forerunner of the fight against and eradication of terrorism. For example, the Syrian and Iraqi people should stand against terrorism and others should help them in this path,” the Iranian president said.
The Venezuelan president, for his part, said terrorists are the real enemies of humanity and added that certain countries have equipped terrorist groups with arms and weapons and now intend to battle them.
The Iranian president also met with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. During the meeting, Rouhani referred to the hegemony imposed by the global powers as the biggest problem facing the world and criticized double standards adopted by certain countries in the fight against terrorism.
“Today’s world is faced with many problems, namely terrorism, violence, and environmental threats,”Rouhani said, adding, “But the biggest problem is the great powers’ hegemony and injustice in today’s world.”
”Unfortunately, common people have lost trust in the international community’s capability in fighting terrorism, and we seek more serious presence and strategic and constructive role on the part of Iran in this regard,” the UN chief said.
The meeting with French President Francois Hollande was one of Rouhani’s high-profile visits in New York.
“Iran is an influential power in the region and the West must understand this reality,” Rouhani said in the meeting.
During the meeting, the French president acknowledged Iran’s special role in fighting terrorism in the region, and expressed hope that considerable collaboration between the two countries in other fields would follow a comprehensive nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group.
Rouhani had a meeting with his Austrian counterpart Heinz Fischer who also expressed hope that the conclusion of a final nuclear agreement would contribute to the development of ties between Iran and the European Union.
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – Russia, China, the United States, Britain, and France plus Germany – opened a new round of talks in New York on Friday.
Iran and its negotiating partners reached an interim nuclear deal in Geneva last November, which took effect on January 20 and expired six months later. In July, the two sides agreed to extend negotiations until November 24 this year to overcome differences and conclude a comprehensive deal on Tehran’s nuclear energy program.