Rouhani’s UN trip plans outlined

Financial Tribune- Iran’s envoy to the United Nations explained the schedule of President Hassan Rouhani during his upcoming visit to the United Nations headquarters in New York for attending the 72nd General Assembly.

The annual gathering convenes on September 12 and lasts until December or January, as usual.

The UNGA’s gathering of leaders from 193 member states, known as the General Debate, is held on Sept. 19-25.

Rouhani, who was reelected in a landslide in May, has attended all General Debates since he first took office in 2013.

Speaking to IRIB News on Thursday, Gholamali Khoshrou said Rouhani will deliver a speech to the General Debate on Wednesday.

In his address, Khoshrou said, the president will focus on countering Iranophobia and will talk about Iran’s broad international engagement and its role in tackling the global challenge of terrorism.

Rouhani will make his speech a day after US President Donald Trump who is deeply antagonistic toward Iran and has spared no opportunity since taking office in January for lashing out at Tehran.

The US administration alleges Iran is the top sponsor of terrorism worldwide and that its growing regional influence is destabilizing the Middle East.

The Iranian envoy said Rouhani will also touch on the fate of the 2015 nuclear deal involving Iran and world powers.

***Costly Unfaithfulness

Khoshrou said Rouhani will caution the international community about the “consequences of unfaithfulness to the deal” and highlight the need for replacing the language of pressure and sanctions with dialogue.

The controversial US president has frequently hammered the multilateral pact and is currently looking for pretexts to quit the historic agreement.

Trump has also imposed a raft of new sanctions on Iran over various pretexts, including human rights, missile tests and cyber activities.

Apart from the UNGA speech, Khoshrou said Rouhani will meet a number of counterparts from across the world, particularly Muslim nations.

“In meetings with Muslim heads of state, Rouhani will discuss solutions to challenges confronting the Muslim community, including Islamophobia,” the UN envoy said.

Khoshrou said Rouhani will also hold several interviews with international media and have a meeting with Iranian expatriates residing in the US.

***P5+1 Meeting Possible

Asked whether a meeting of the Joint Commission of the signatories to the nuclear deal will be held on the UNGA’s sidelines, the ambassador said it was still under consideration.

“Since all countries must reach agreement in this regard, it is yet to be determined whether all members want this meeting,” he said.

The Joint Commission, assigned with tackling issues arising from the implementation of the deal, is comprised of foreign ministers of Iran and P5+1 (the US, UK, France, China and Russia, plus Germany).

The first and fifth meetings of the Joint Commission were held on the margins of the 2015 and 2016 UNGAs, respectively.

Separately, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi said on Thursday the top Iranian diplomat, Mohammad Javad Zarif, will meet dozens of counterparts from Asian and European countries, particularly some P5+1 members.

Qasemi said Zarif will also meet the EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, who played the role of coordinator in two years of nuclear negotiations.

Asked whether there will be a one-on-one meeting between Zarif and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Qasemi said no request has been made in this regard and there are no arrangements for such a meeting.