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Rouhani Q&A All Nuclear & Syria, No Afghanistan, Yemen or Bahrain

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 26 -- When Iranian president Hassan Rouhani held an hour-long press conference across the street from the UN on September 26, nearly all of the questions were about Syria and the P5+1 nuclear negotiations.

  No questions were asked or allowed about Iran's view and actions in such countries as Afghanistan, Bahrain or Yemen. The same questions were asked again and again, with some telling variations.

 IRIB asked about the imprisonment in Iran of the Washington Post's Jason Rezaian - then quickly turned to Iran's hauled to the US. (The Free UN Coalition for Access says, Free 'em all.)

  On the nuclear negotiations, earlier on September 26 Inner City Press asked Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov about their status. Lavrov told Inner City Press, ““I remain cautiously optimistic. If we look at the drafting process of the text, we're very close to our goal but there are sections remaining. The devil is in the details..We still have time until Nov 24, the deadline for the negotiating teams and we'll do our best to ensure that remaining issues are resolved.”

Rouhani said, “after 12 years of up and downs, we must look toward the future and make the courageous decisions on this issue. Iran will never surrender its legal right to civil nuclear activity.”

Asked if Iran would oppose not just Sunni but also Shi'a terrorists, Rouhani shot back that Iran opposed the Shi'ite MEK. He emphasized that Hezbollah is in the parliament in Lebanon.

When AP asked if for nuclear concessions Iran would “help the US” against ISIL, Rouhani said, “You mean the US helping Iran?” He said Iran was the first to assist Iraq against ISIL.

Rouhani told one wan questioner her numbers were “propaganda.”

Richard Roth of CNN asked if Rouhani would be disappointed if this year on the way to the airport he doesn't receive a telephone call from “Him.” Rouhani said such calls are not important. But will He make the call? Watch this site.


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