Rouhani: Western Intervention 'Put Blades in the Hands' of ISIS Extremists
Iran's president tells UN General Assembly that US invasions and 'certain intelligence agencies' gave rise to militants that 'now spare no one' in Iraq and Syria
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani on Thursday criticized Western nations for sowing extremism in the Middle East and paving the way for the rise of the Islamic State (referred to as ISIS or ISIL) through military interventions and "strategic blunders."
"Certain intelligence agencies have put blades in the hands of mad men who now spare no one," said Rouhani in an address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York. "All those who have played a role in founding and supporting these terror groups must acknowledge their errors."
Rouhani directly criticized the U.S.-led invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, declaring, democracy "cannot be transplanted from abroad."
The Iranian president echoed the pro-war tone of President Obama while urging a regional response. "I am struck that these murderous groups call themselves Islamic," said Rouhani. "The right solution to this quandary comes from within the region and regionally provided solution with international support and not from the outside the region," he declared.
Rouhani also criticized U.S.-led sanctions against Iran as a key barrier to diplomacy. "The people of Iran, who have been subjected to pressures especially in the last three years as a result of continued sanctions, cannot place trust in any security cooperation between their government with those who have imposed sanctions and created obstacles in the way of satisfying even their primary needs, such as food and medicine," he said.
"No one should doubt that compromise and agreement on this issue is in the best interest of everyone, especially that of the nations of the region," he said.
An edited video of the speech can be seen below.