New York, NY, September 24, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s debut speech before the United Nations General Assembly “more of the same platitudes and denials” in claiming Iran’s innocence and moderation on all issues and playing the “victim card” charging that it is being persecuted by the international community.
Barry Curtiss-Lusher, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
President Rouhani’s “charm offensive” before the United Nations General Assembly fell well short of addressing in any serious way the harsh reality of Iran’s decades-long quest for nuclear weapons.
Yes, the speech didn’t include the overt anti-Semitism of previous Iranian presidents, and President Rouhani did call for engagement. However, in defending Iran’s nuclear program and its “peaceful purpose,” and asserting Iranian innocence and integrity on all matters, Rouhani just offered more of the same platitudes and denials.
In the height of hypocrisy and despite Iran’s long-time state-sponsorship of terrorism, including involvement in some of the most infamous violent attacks in history, the Iranian president condemned what he called “terrorism” directed against Iran, and proposed that Iran would lead an international coalition called a “world against violence and extremism.”
Essentially ignoring the clear message in President Obama’s U.N. address earlier in the day that “conciliatory words will have to be matched by actions that are transparent and verifiable,” Rouhani’s speech gave no hint that any meaningful actions will be forthcoming soon.
The international community must keep up the strong sanctions against Iran, and continue to make clear that all options remain on the table so long as Iran continues to brazenly flout its international obligations.