Hassan Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, addresses the general debate of the 73rd Session of the General Assembly of the UN (New York, 25 September - 01 October 2018).
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said “unilateral sanctions in themselves constitute a form of economic terrorism,” adding that “it is ironic that the US government does not even conceal its plan for overthrowing the same government it invites to talks.” Speaking today (25 Sep) on the first day of the 73rd United Nations General Debate, Hassan Rouhani said “on what basis and criteria can we enter into an agreement with an administration misbehaving such as this?” referring to the United States and adding that “any talks should be within the framework and in continuation of the JCPOA and Security Council resolution 2231, and not in a framework of breaching them and reverting to the past.”
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) known also as the Iran nuclear deal was signed in 2015 between Iran on one side and the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China on the other. The United States however, withdrew from the deal in May this year, after its president, Donald Trump repeatedly threaten to do so unless the deal was expanded to include Iran’s missile programme as well as some other issues. Rouhani said, “It is ironic that the US government does not even conceal its plan for overthrowing the same government it invites to talks.”
New US sanctions are scheduled to kick in at the beginning of November this year, and it remains unclear how this unilateral action will affect the implementation of the deal by other signatories. In his speech, Iran’s president said “unlawful unilateral sanctions in themselves constitute a form of economic terrorism and a breach of the right to development.”
He also said “the economic war that the United States has initiated under the rubric of new sanctions not only targets the Iranian people but also entails harmful repercussions for the people of other countries.” Rouhani did agree that ‘there is no better way but dialogue” but he said that the dialogue goes two-way and “it should be based on equality, justice, and human integrity and honor, and conducted in accordance with the rules and norms of international law.” He invited the United States to “return to that Council resolution” and said “the UN Security Council resolution 2231 is not a ‘piece of paper.”
On 20 July 2015, the Security Council – including the United States, unanimously adopted resolution 2231 endorsing the JCPOA. With this act, the Security Council affirmed that conclusion of the JCPOA marked a fundamental shift in its consideration of the Iranian nuclear issue, expressed its desire to build a new relationship with Iran strengthened by the implementation of the JCPOA and to bring to a satisfactory conclusion its consideration of this matter.