Rouhani is expected to address the crisis in Syria in his speech to the UN General Assembly on Monday, after President Barack Obama and Russian leader Vladimir Putin take the podium.
Iran’s support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has drawn strong criticism from the USA and Sunni Arab states, while the latter also accuse Iran of backing the Shi’ite Houthi rebels who have been fighting to control Yemen – even as Saudi-led airstrikes targeting the rebels are taking a heavy toll on Yemeni civilians too.
“We have to convince them that it’s going to be a pretty poor investment unless there’s a transition in the Government away from Assad“, Mr Cameron said.
On July 14, Iran, Russia, the United States, China, Britain, France and Germany signed a historic deal guaranteeing the peaceful nature of Tehran’s nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief.
Speaking to reporters accompanying him on the visit – which will also focus on climate change and new United Nations development goals – Mr Cameron said it was about “stepping up” global efforts to take on the militant threat.
Rouhani said that Iran was prepared to help bring democracy to war-torn Syria and Yemen.
Iran’s hajj organising committee said that 298 Iranian pilgrims remained unaccounted for on Monday, while 46 were receiving treatment in either Iran or Saudi Arabia. This indicates a significant shift in Iran’s government’s position on Rezaian and other Americans detained in Iran, as the Iranian officials has previously stressed that Rezaian’s fate could only be decided by Tehran’s judicial system, rather than through a political accommodation with Washington. The president said that “the people of Iran were looking at it as a form of entertainment, if you will, and found it laughable”.
Thousands of Iranian-American protesters gathered in New York City on Monday to announce their disapproval with the regime in Tehran, which continues to execute dissident voices at a record-pace.
Rouhani said the US approach, which he characterized as the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and support for “the Zionist regime” – Israel – gives terrorists “justification for their actions”. The agreement has come under scrutiny by hard-liners in both countries.
He said the way to tackle regional conflict is through dialogue and cooperation with the central governments to establish stability – and then build democratic governance in the Middle East region.