Iranian President Hassan Rouhani left Tehran for New York on Sept. 17 to attend the UN General Assembly session. His brief but important visit serves Iran with an opportunity to hold talks with some of the leaders of the countries with whom Iran signed the nuclear deal. Rouhani hopes to persuade them to stand up to US President Donald Trump, who has vowed to scrap the landmark accord.
The first time Rouhani went to the United States was following his election in 2013. Back then, remarkable decisions and occurrences happened, such as his unprecedented phone call with then-US President Barack Obama — a brief conversation that has been described as the stepping stone for the 2015 nuclear deal. The interactions between Tehran and Washington persisted during Obama’s presidency, but with Trump taking over the White House this year, Iran and the United States have gone back to square one, and ties are getting tense as the new resident of the White House has repeatedly threatened to tear up the nuclear deal.