Publishe Date: 9:20 PM - 9/23/2013 | Print

Iranian President Leaves for New York with Hectic Schedule

Politics - Iran's President Hassan Rouhani left Tehran for New York this morning with a very busy schedule full of meetings with different world leaders and attendances in several high-profile global conferences, with the most important one being the 68th UN General Assembly meeting.

The President was seen off by a large number of Iranian officials, including Chief of Staff of the Iranian Supreme Leader, first vice-president, several cabinet members. Head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, and several senior parliament members.


Rouhani who will arrive at JFK Airport in the next few hours will have a very busy agenda in New York.

The Iranian president is due to address the UN General Assembly meeting on Tuesday and also address the Nuclear Disarmament Summit as the president of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) on Wednesday.

The president's itinerary includes numerous meetings with the world leaders, including French, Lebanese, Austrian, Tunisia and Turkish Presidents as well as Pakistani, Fiji and Italian Prime Ministers, German Chancellor and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

President Rouhani is also due to meet Iranian expatriates living in the US, and representatives of major world (specially American) media and think-tanks.

Attending a press conference and interviews with several US media, including the CNN and Washington Post have also been included in his agenda.

The president also plans to take part in the inaugural meeting of the NAM ministerial meeting in New York.

The Iranian president who is heading a high-ranking politico-economic delegation, plans to stay at Millennium Hotel during the several-day visit to New York.


President Rouhani is accompanied by his Chief of Staff Mohammad Nahavandian, Director of the Protocols Department of the Presidential Office Bahman Hossein-Pour, Presidential Office's Director for Political and Security Affairs Hesamoddin Ashna, Vice-President and Head of the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (CHHTO) Mohammad Ali Najafi, President's Special Aide Mohammad-Reza Sadeq, Representative of the Jewish community at the Iranian Parliament Siyamak Mareh-Sedq and Shiraz Deputy at the Parliament Seyed Ahmad Reza Dastqeib.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is already in New York and will accompany the President in his meetings there. Zarif left Tehran for New York in the early hours of Wednesday to attend the ministerial meeting of the UN General Assembly on September 22.

Before leaving Tehran, Rouhani met with Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei for final discussions and receiving the Leader's final guidelines.

At the meeting, Ayatollah Khamenei wished success for President Rouhani and his accompanying delegation in their official mission in New York.

The Iranian president was invited by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in August to take part in the annual UN General Assembly meeting. But what has made this visit an exceptional development is the high chance of talks between Iran and the US, as two long-time arch foes, during Rouhani's visit to New York.

Yesterday and during his address to the Iranian military units who were staging the annual parades at the Mouselum of the Late Founder of the Islamic Republic Imam Khomeini in Southern Tehran, Rouhani stressed Iran's preparedness to sit to the negotiating table with the western states, including the US, but meantime, said such talks should be held based on mutual respect and without any preconditions.

"We are ready (for talks with the West) provided that no preconditions are there for negotiations and we will negotiate with the West only on an equal footing and based on mutual respect," Rouhani said on Sunday.

"In these negotiations, all the Iranian nation's rights, including the nuclear rights and the right of enrichment on Iran's territory, should be accepted within the framework of the international rules and regulations," he added.

He stressed that if the opposite party acknowledges Tehran's rights, the Iranian nation will respond to them with cooperation and "in such a case we will be able to settle the regional and international problems".

Chances for direct talks between Iran and the US officials rose after Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said last Tuesday that he has long held belief in "heroic flexibility" in domestic and foreign policy, but he also cautioned that the tactic which is very necessary on some occasions should only be practiced after one gathers deep insight about the nature of his/her rivals and their goals.

The Supreme Leader underlined his support for correct and logical moves on the scenes of foreign and domestic policy.

"I agree with the issue that I called some years ago as heroic flexibility since this move is highly good and necessary on certain occasions, but with commitment to one main condition," Ayatollah Khamenei said, addressing high-ranking commanders and veterans of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in Tehran.

He described apprehending the opposite side's nature and gathering a correct understanding of his goal-setting as the main condition for using the heroic flexibility tactic, and said, "A technical wrestler also shows flexibility for technical reasons sometimes, but he would never forget who his rival is and what his main goal is."


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