Rouhani's Uncompromising Comments at UN Make Prospect of Curbing Iran's Aggression More Remote

(The National-Abu Dhabi) Con Coughlin - Iranian President Rouhani's UN address provided a fresh insight into how Tehran really views the world. Rather than acknowledging the destabilizing influence Iran's confrontational approach has on the Middle East, as well as the wider world, Rouhani sought to portray Iran as the victim, the innocent target of American aggression that aimed to destroy the country. The biggest challenge to regional security, he contended, was not Iran but the U.S. and its allies. Rouhani declared that the conflict in Yemen could only be resolved when Saudi Arabia terminated its "aggression" in the country, a somewhat ludicrous claim given that it was Iran's support for the Houthi rebels in their bid to remove the country's democratically elected government that provoked the conflict in the first place. Rouhani said the U.S. was engaged in "merciless economic terrorism" against his country, and defended his support for Hizbullah and Hamas, widely regarded as terrorist organizations. He defended the continued financial support Tehran gives to these groups by arguing that they were freedom fighters, not terrorists. Rouhani's comments might appear delusional but they underline the enormity of the challenge Western powers and their allies face in trying to curb further acts of Iranian-sponsored aggression. The writer is defense and foreign affairs editor of the British Telegraph.

2019-09-27 00:00:00

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