Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will take part in next week’s annual meeting of the UN General Assembly in New York.
Zarif confirmed on Tuesday that he and Rouhani will attend, following weeks of debate in Iranian media about whether the President should be involved. Hardliners including Kayhan newspaper, linked to the Supreme Leader’s office, had been strongly opposed.
The Foreign Minister, saying that Rouhani will address the General Assembly, said the meetings are a good opportunity for diplomacy.
Iran is facing a possibly critical situation over the US withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deals between Tehran and the 5+1 Powers (US, UK, France, Germany, China, and Russia). Internal problems alongside the imminence of comprehensive American sanctions, planned for November 5, are crippling the Iranian economy.
Ironically, the Trump Administration eased the situation for the Rouhani Government on Monday when it changed plans for Donald Trump to chair a UN Security Council meeting that would discuss Iran. Instead, the discussion will be a general one on non-proliferation.
US officials indicated the alteration was because of worry over how Trump, not known for his careful handling of information, would chair a conversation on Iran.
Zarif said Iran no longer has a concern because “the US has changed its plans about the meeting….[It] is no longer about Iran and only Security Council members will take part in it.”
But he added:
The Americans will take advantage of any opportunity to raise irrelevant issues and level accusations against Iran….Threatening other countries by the United States not to maintain ties with Iran, is a sign of America’s weakness and isolation, as others would not listen to them.