Al-Monitor – President Hassan Rouhani and an Iranian delegation departed Iran’s Mehrabad airport on Monday morning for New York to attend the 74th meeting United Nations General Assembly. “It is an opportunity to state and explain the views of nations, especially the great nation of Iran,” Rouhani told reporters. “Unjust and oppressive actions that have taken place against Iran today will be explained to the people and countries of the world.” IRNA, the news outlet run by the Rouhani administration, ran an article headlined, “The beginning of Iran’s diplomatic war in New York.”
Regarding limitations on the Iranian delegation placed by the United States, Rouhani said, “The Americans themselves should explain why. Either they are afraid of … bitter words or they do not want their own public opinion influenced.” Rouhani said that the UNGA trip is necessary “so that we speak at different levels of the UN,” adding that Tehran has “reason and logic” and its enemies do not. The United States has confined the Iranian delegation to JFK airport, UN headquarters, Iran’s UN ambassador’s residence and a six-block area in Long Island. On previous UNGA trips the Iranians were permitted a 25-mile radius of Manhattan’s Columbus circle.
This year’s trip almost did not take place due to visas delays for members of Iran’s delegation. Typically a delegation travels in advance of the president to make preparations.
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