Iran's Rouhani: Sanctions on Us Are 'Violent— Pure and Simple'

He also says Tehran is willing to enter talks on its nuclear program

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 24, 2013 5:34 PM CDT

(Newser) – An Iranian president addressed the UN General Assembly today, and for a change there was no talk of 9/11 conspiracies, Holocaust hoaxes, or the US delegation walking out. Instead, Hasan Rouhani—the more moderate successor of Mahmoud Ahmandinejad—said his nation wants to ease tensions with the US and take part in "timebound and result-oriented" talks on its nuclear program, reports the Wall Street Journal. But Rouhani insisted again that Tehran had only peaceful aims for its nukes, demanded that it be allowed to enrich uranium, and called the current sanctions against the country "violent—pure and simple," reports NBC News.

"The negative impact is not nearly limited to the intended victims of sanctions," he said, complaining that innocent citizens were suffering. Rouhani added that his nation presents "absolutely no threat to the world" and that he hoped President Obama would not be influenced by "war-mongering pressure groups" in the US, reports Reuters. Earlier, Obama used his speech to press for renewed talks between the two nations. Despite signs of a thaw, however, he and Rouhani didn't arrange to shake hands.

Iranian President Hasan Rouhani addresses the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
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