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Rouhani slams West at UN but vows to carry out nuclear talks

Iran's president says the West is responsible for blunders in the Middle East, but keeps the door open to nuclear negotiations
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks at the UN on Thursday (AFP)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told the United Nations on Thursday that the West was responsible for "strategic blunders" in the Middle East and Central Asia that had created terror havens.

"The strategic blunders of the West in the Middle East, Central Asia and the Caucasus have turned these parts of the world into a haven for terrorists and extremists," he told the General Assembly in New York.

In his roughly 10-minute speech, Rouhani said certain intelligence agencies had "put blades into the hands of madmen" and stressed that the solution to the "quandary" of the Islamic State militant group should come from within the region, not from the international community.

However, Rouhani also remained positive about the P5+1 nuclear negotiations, indicating that further cooperation could be built around a successful agreement. He warned against any delay on resolving the issue.

"We are determined to continue negotiations with our interlocutors in earnest and good faith, based on mutual respect and confidence," he said. "Any delay in arriving at a final agreement only raises the costs."

More analysis to follow.

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