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UNITED NATIONS, September 26 (Itar-Tass) - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who from the UN General Assembly’s rostrum expressed readiness to engage in a dialogue on Tehran’s nuclear programme, has largely justified the expectations of the international community, said Mikhail Margelov, Chairman of the International Affairs Committee of the Federation Council upper house of Russia’s parliament.
“The president of Iran has in many ways - at least in his statements, justified the hopes that the international community had pinned on him after his election victory,” Margelov told Itar-Tass on Wednesday. The head of the Federation Council committee is in New York on a visit. He called for giving the Iranian president a chance “to approve himself in the international arena.”
The FC member also drew attention to Rouhani’s recent interview to CNN television, in which the president called the Holocaust a “reprehensible” crime of the Nazis against the Jews. His predecessor - Iran’s former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in public speeches has repeatedly questioned the fact and the scale of extermination of the Jews during the Second World War.
“I think that the declaration of the acknowledgment of the fact of the Holocaust, the statement that nuclear weapons are not a part of Iran’s strategic defence doctrine, as well as the signals that Tehran with its new president was ready to become a part of the Syrian problem settlement, rather than a part of the problem itself - all this is reassuring and encouraging,” said Margelov.
According to him, Rouhani “is making very powerful claims to foreign policy successes and changing the image of Iran in the international arena.” The FC committee head stressed that Iran is “a very important partner” for Russia in addressing issues related to the Caspian Sea, stability in Central Asia, the development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), bilateral trade and nuclear power.
The chairman of the Federation Council committee also commented on the reaction of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called Rouhani’s signals about the readiness to continue the dialogue a ploy for making a nuclear bomb. “Nothing else could be expected, because according to the current Israeli foreign policy strategy, Iran is an existential threat,” said the official. He said that Israel expects from Iran “not only statements, but also some concrete action.” “By the way, not only Israel, but also all other countries expect that,” Margelov added.
On Thursday, the six key nations - permanent members of the UN Security Council (Russia, Britain, China, the United States, France) and Germany will hold in New York talks on Iran’s nuclear programme with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif. Margelov said he was “cautiously optimistic” about the forthcoming meeting.