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Rouhani expresses optimism over nuclear deal at UNGA

In his first public appearance at this year’s UN General Assembly, the Iranian president suggested that a nuclear deal would transform US-Iran relations but said that failure to reach agreement by the deadline did not mean that the two countries would automatically revert to the hostility of the past.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani attends a news conference in Ankara June 9, 2014. REUTERS/Umit Bektas (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR3SXJ1

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said US and Arab airstrikes against the group calling itself the Islamic State (IS) in Syria “do not have any legal standing,” but refrained from endorsing Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad by name, referring instead to the need to work with Syria’s “central government” against terrorism.

Speaking to a group of senior news executives and correspondents Sept. 23 in his first major appearance at the United Nations this year, Rouhani also expressed optimism about the chances for a long-term nuclear agreement and said that relations between the United States and Iran “will be completely different” if such an agreement can be reached.

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