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Rouhani: Syria airstrikes 'will only create tragedies'

Iran’s president said a nuclear agreement would open the prospect of more cooperation with the United States but criticized the American decision to give more support to Syrian rebels, warning that it could spawn more terrorism.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani (C) is escorted for a meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York September 23, 2014. REUTERS/Jewel Samad/Pool (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ENVIRONMENT) - RTR47FN8

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani put forward his prescription for defeating the group that calls itself the Islamic State (IS), saying that local Iraqi and Syrian central government forces must be in the lead and that the United States was creating a new “terrorist group” by training and equipping members of the Free Syrian Army.

Speaking to a large audience of Americans and Iranian Americans in a New York City ballroom on Sept. 24, Rouhani did not reply when asked if he had heard President Barack Obama offer his own ideas for eradicating Islamic extremism in a major speech just hours earlier before the UN General Assembly.

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