In UN address, Iranian president claims nuclear program good for environment

Rouhani claims nuclear program and nuclear deal with world powers beneficial for environment; Addresses “West Asia” and process of how terrorists are created; Calls for investigation of haj plane crash

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addressed the United Nations Summit for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development on Saturday, claiming Iran’s nuclear program is good for the environment.

The president not only claimed that Iran’s nuclear program contributes to environmental preservation, but also stated that the negotiations and nuclear deal made with world powers has created means of international and regional cooperation.

Rouhani went on to state how Iran is “eager to cooperate with our neighbors to promote regional sustainable development through active environmental diplomacy, constructive relations with other countries, transfer of technology and know-how, and participation in joint scientific activities, in order to fulfill our share in building a more sustainable world immune from environmental threats” warning of “West Asia” as a beacon of political and environmental instability. He stated that West Asia is “not only facing hotter climate conditions and challenges of continued extensive drought but, it is also grappling with the scourge of terrorism and extremist violence.”

He informed the summit on terrorism and how it is created, stating that, “Terrorists tend to grow and thrive in lands that are deprived and damaged by environmental disasters and easily pour across borders like haze. Terrorist groups crush the sustainable development goals. And the continuation of this situation results in further poverty and environmental destruction. Not only have terrorism and violence damaged the environment, but also they have taken sustainable development out of the agenda of countries, forcing them to expend their national resources on fighting against insecurity.”

Rouhani proclaimed that Iran is “increasing environmental awareness across the board” in efforts in “environmental education in school curriculums, revamping dam-building policies, reviving endangered wetlands and exerting round the clock efforts to preserve endangered lakes.”

Rouhani additionally called for an investigation in the “heart-rending” plane crash at the haj pilgrimage that killed over 700, 131 of the pilgrims Iranian. Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir renounced Iran’s ongoing speculation, stating before a meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry, “I would hope that the Iranian leaders would be more sensible and more thoughtful with regards to those who perished in this tragedy and wait until we see the results of the investigation.”