Iran’s president said Monday that Tehran is prepared to help eradicate terrorism, pave the way for democracy and ensure that arms do not dictate the course of events in the region.
“As we aided the establishment of democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan, we are prepared to help bring about democracy in Syria as well as Yemen,” Hassan Rouhani said during an address to the UN General Assembly in New York.
Addressing the recently signed nuclear deal with world powers, the Iranian president said his country never intended to produce a nuclear weapon and he expects those nations that have nuclear weapons to live up to the terms of the Nonproliferation Treaty and takes steps to reach full disarmament.
“Furthermore, we expect them to play a positive role in the creation of a nuclear-weapons-free Middle East, and not to allow the Zionist regime to remain the only impediment in the way of realizing this important initiative,” he added, referring to Israel.
Iran and the world powers P5+1 group – the U.S., China, France, Russia, and the UK, plus Germany, in July signed a final nuclear agreement that envisages Iran will curb its nuclear program in return for the lifting of sanctions imposed on the country.
Rouhani also took time to criticize Saudi authorities for last week’s deadly stampede during the Hajj that killed nearly 1,000 pilgrims.
“Due to their unaccountability, even the missing cannot be identified, and the expeditious return of the bodies of the deceased to their mourning families has been prevented,” he said. “The scope of a calamity in which thousands of innocent people from the four corners of the world have been killed and wounded is so broad that it cannot be dealt with as a natural disaster or a local issue. The pain and emotional distress inflicted on millions of Muslims is greater than what can be repaired merely through material calculations,” he added.
The deaths of the 769 pilgrims was the worst Hajj disaster in the last 25 years.