Rowhani urges Obama to ignore ‘war-mongering pressure groups’

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Iranian President Hassan Rowhani urged U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday to ignore “war-mongering pressure groups” at home in dealing with the Iranian nuclear dispute.

In an address to the U.N. General Assembly in New York -- his first appearance on the world stage as Iran’s president -- Rowhani said the Islamic Republic is not a threat to the world, expressing his readiness to engage in “time-bound and results-oriented” nuclear talks..

He said if Obama rejects “the short-sighted interest of warmongering pressure groups, we can arrive at a framework to manage our differences.”

Rowhani said that the greatest threat to the Middle East is the danger of chemical weapons falling into the hands of extremists and terrorist groups.

Iran is one of the Syrian regime’s staunchest allies and Syria’s leaders often blame terrorist and extremist groups for the country’s civil war.

But consistent with long-held Iranian rhetoric, Rowhani criticized “militarism and political violence to subjugate other states,” in reference to the U.S. foreign policy.

He condemned drone attacks on “innocent people” and the use of sanctions against his country.

Rowhani spoke a few hours after Obama told the assembly that he wanted a “meaningful agreement” with Iran if it acted to end international concerns over its nuclear program.

The Iranian leader reaffirmed his country’s position that its nuclear drive is “exclusively peaceful.”

“Nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction have no place in Iran’s security and defense doctrine, and contradict our fundamental religious and ethical convictions,” Rowhani said.

He added that the international community had to accept Iran’s nuclear activity, which Western nations say hides an attempt to reach a nuclear bomb capacity.

The U.N. Security Council has imposed four rounds of sanctions against Iran over its uranium enrichment.

But Rowhani said it is “an illusion, and extremely unrealistic, to presume that the peaceful nature of the nuclear program of Iran could be ensured through impeding the program via illegitimate pressures.”

(With AFP and AP)