Iranian president due in New York on Monday
Tehran, Iran, Sept. 21
By Milad Fashtami - Trend:
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will fly to New York on September 22 to attend the 69th Annual Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly.
It will be Rouhani's second visit to New York since he took the office last year, Iran's IRNA News Agency reported on September 21.
Rouhani is expected to deliver his speech at the meeting on September 25.
Iranian government's spokesman, Mohammad Baqer Nobakht said on September 19 that any possible meeting between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his American counterpart Barack Obama is not scheduled yet, Iran's Fars news agency reported Sept. 17.
Speculation about the possible talks between the two sides in particular has been mounting because the counterparts spoke by phone last year in September on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly.
The phone conversation was the first direct communication in decades between the heads of state of the two countries.
Iranian conservatives severely criticized Rouhani on the issue. For instance, commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari called Rouhani`s phone conversation with his U.S. counterpart, a tactical mistake.
Extremist groups held protests against Rouhani, upon his return to Tehran from New York. The protesters threw shoes at Rouhani.
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said he supports the developments which occurred during Rouhani's New York visit, adding that "some issues were not very suitable."
Some Iranian media outlets and in particular the radical Keyhan newspaper, claimed that foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif has confessed that Rouhani's phone call with his counterpart Barack Obama were subject to Khamenei's criticism.
However, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham criticized the media for publishing untrue information.