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Iranian President Rouhani wants UN headquarters moved from US to a 'more secure and better country'


He was asked about the prospect by a Russian journalist, who raised concerns over delegates being denied entry

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said during a United Nations press conference from New York on Thursday that his country's delegation would "of course" like to move the UN headquarters out of America and to a "more secure and better country."

What are the details?

During the presser, a Russian reporter addressed Rouhani with questions about visas, saying, "President Trump announced yesterday a decision to deny entrance to (the) United States to all high-ranked Iranian and Venezuelan officials. Russia also had big problems with entrance to (the) U.S. — more than 10 Russian delegates couldn't come to the General Assembly. So, how far it can go? Should the United Nations headquarters be moved from New York...and will Iran do anything to answer to these measures?"

"Well, we have been faced with this very problem from before," the Iranian president began, saying via a translator that a team of students from an Iranian university were recently denied visas to attend a U.S. science competition.

"I'm not saying that we have a problem with the nation, with the people of America," Rouhani continued. "The reason why we come here is because the United Nations is here. And America does not have the right to impede the coming and goings to officials from the United Nations because the United Nations serves as the home of all governments and all nations throughout the world."

"America must not take advantage of its position as a host and only grant visas to whomever America likes," he went on to say. "As far as the United Nations headquarters being moved to another place, that is an important decision. If we're ever asked, we'll of course vote for it, for the United Nations headquarters to be transferred to a more secure and better country that does not have the narrow viewpoints instead we have been witnessing."

Fox News provided the press conference in full. The questions posed about visas begins around the 13:19 mark:

Iranian President Rouhani holds a press conference at United Nations

Anything else?

During the press conference on Thursday, Rouhani took the opportunity to criticize several U.S. policies, while accusing America of unfairly shutting off entry to citizens from other countries.

But the Iranian leader had no problem being choosy when it came to which journalists he approved to attend his closed press conference. According to the Israel National News, an Israeli reporter, Gil Tamary, was stopped outside the conference and told he did not have the required reservation to attend.

Tamary — who is reportedly known for grilling former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during a 2006 presser — told the outlet Arutz Sheva that ever since that incident more than a decade ago, Iran has banned Israeli reporters from taking part in its U.N. press conferences.

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