September 4, 2013 - 17:41 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - New Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will attend the yearly United Nations General Assembly in New York later this month, an event his predecessor used to make incendiary statements on the world stage, Reuters reports.
A relatively moderate cleric, who has said he wants to ease tensions with the West, Rouhani will give three speeches there, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was quoted as saying.
Rouhani's predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speeches at the General Assembly included questioning the Holocaust and the U.S. account of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Western envoys typically walked out of his speeches in protest.
Iran is engaged in a stand-off with the West over its disputed nuclear program, and negotiations with world powers over the scope of the program have stalled since April.
Rouhani has yet to name a new nuclear negotiator to replace Saeed Jalili, a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war who was seen by diplomats as uncompromising, but Zarif indicated that Rouhani has already finalized the Iranian negotiating team.
Rouhani won the Islamic republic's presidential election on June 14, with 18.6 million (50.7%) votes, after campaigning on a "hope and prudence" platform in which he appealed to traditional conservatives and reform-minded voters alike.
Rouhani spoke of reforms without threatening Iran's supreme leader or its institutions, of which he is a product. The former national security council chief promised an environment with greater personal freedoms and even indicated he would free political prisoners and jailed journalists.
In his campaigning, Rouhani also pledged to improve the economy and unemployment, and as a former nuclear negotiator, he said he would reduce the high tension between Iran and the outside world by addressing sanctions related to Iran's nuclear program.