Sep 29, 2019, 7:00 PM
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Rouhani's message from Assembly's podium

Tehran, Sept 29, IRNA - President Hassan Rouhani's seventh visit to New York to attend the seventy-fourth session of the UN General Assembly was an opportunity to lambaste on hostile and pugnacity of the US policies intensified under US President Donald Trump's administration.

In recent days as world leaders took advantage of the UN General Assembly's annual meeting to express their countries' views and concerns, the President of our country, along with the Foreign Minister and a number of members of the diplomacy team participated to pursue Iran's most important issues in pursuit of national interests.

Although critics of the government, as expected, have raised criticism on the performance of Rouhani and his accompanying team in New York, observers believe the accomplishments of the President on the trip were significant; a journey that the number of meetings and consultations were more than 20 bilateral visits, with Rouhani’s meeting with the presidents of Bolivia, Cuba, France, Switzerland, the IMF Executive Director, the head of the International Olympic Committee, the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Prime Ministers of Norway, Armenia, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Japan, Italy, and others were among them.

Also on the sidelines of the summit was an opportunity for Rouhani to attract the world’s attention to the positions of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the voice of Tehran's protest against the aggressive policies of some international actors such as the United States. In the meantime, Rouhani met with a group of American media executives, interviewed with NBC, CNN and PBS, leaders of American Muslim communities, and so on.

Since the speeches and decisions taken at the UN General Assembly are not legally binding, the heads of various countries around the world are bringing the world directly to their desired realities and problems. As a result, one cannot expect the signing of agreements from Rouhani and other leaders in the Assembly, which will be concluded on periodic and non- periodic trips to regional and trans-regional countries.

Therefore, the opponents of the government which present Rouhani’s visit to New York without achievement or with little achievement, only focus on tangible and objective achievements. While some criticisms of the reason behind this point that the Iranian president has not met with the Chinese, Russian, Syrian, Iraqi, and some other leaders which have conformity with Tehran's policies on the JCPOA, regional and global issues are not reasonable in a limited time in New York.

But one of the most important achievements of Rouhani's seventh presence at the convention is a blueprint he presented under the heading "The Hormuz Peace Initiative", which outlines the importance of endogenous security for achieving peace in the region. In this regard, Rouhani stated in his speech to the Assembly, “Based on the historical responsibility of my country to preserve security, peace, stability, and progress in the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz, I invite all countries that are affected by the developments in the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz to the "coalition of the HOPE”  namely Hormuz Peace Endeavor."

From Rouhani’s perspective, the “Coalition of Hope” aims to promote peace, stability, prosperity, and well-being for all residents of the Strait of Hormuz, and for mutual understanding and peaceful and friendly relations between them. The initiative encompasses various areas of cooperation, such as public energy security, freedom of navigation and free movement of oil and other resources to and from the Strait of Hormuz and beyond. Also, the Coalition of Hope is based on important principles such as adherence to United Nations goals and principles, mutual respect, mutual interests, equal standing, dialogue and understanding, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, inviolability of international borders, peaceful resolution and settlement of all important disagreements and most importantly there are two fundamental principles of "non-aggression" and "non-interference in each other's internal affairs".

Two other important issues highlighted by the President's speech at the United Nations are the UN umbrella on the plan, as well as the need to withdraw foreign troops from the region; a plan reminder of Rouhani’s presence is in September 2013 for the first time at the UN General Assembly, the year that Rouhani's "World Against Violence and Extremism" plan was approved by a decisive vote of about 200 members.

When putting forward the plan of the world against violence and extremism that year, Rouhani insisted there was no news about the terrorist group ISIS. Perhaps if the members present at the assembly had focused diligently on the implementation of that plan, the terrorist group would have been nipped in the bud and would not have had the opportunity to appear. It is now expected that the various plans presented at the assembly, such as the Rouhani’s new initiative, entitled "Hormuz Peace Initiative", will be carefully considered by the members in order that security return to the region, particularly the Strait of Hormuz, the Persian Gulf, and the Oman Sea.

Rouhani’s plan as observers believe could thwart the US Marine Coalition in southern Iranian waters, a loose, low-profile coalition that, despite the continued pursuit of White House officials to bring about 60 members, its members have just confined to the US, the UK, Australia, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia.

In sum, Rouhani has pointed his finger at the US in a space that in recent years has seen fewer countries free from Trump's calculated decision-making.

So questioning Trump's economic terrorism against Iran and other countries, sending the US arms to crisis-stricken Middle Eastern countries on the pretext of providing security, continuing White House’ non-compliance with commitments to various agreements such as the JCPOA and so on were important issues Rouhani put forward from General Assembly’s platform, remarks that many shared in the summit, but because of fears of Trump's retaliatory actions and the importance of their relationship with the United States avoided them to express.

By: Hassan Shokouhinasab

Translated by: Hamed Shahbazi

Edited by: Hamid Shamlou


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