President Rouhani traveled to New York and delivered two speeches, had two interviews (one with Fareed Zakaria and one with Christian Amanpour). The UN general meeting wasn’t devoid of good news, Rouhani met with David Cameron and this a great development for Iran. But overall, his tone worried me greatly. He sounded conservative, irritable, and defensive. He had visibly changed from the Rouhani I voted for and support.
You can check his UN speech here. You can enable subtitles. It was the best part of his travel. It contains many strong points. He alludes to President Khatami who was a very open reformist, and a great champion of resolving tensions. He condemns IS and extremism and focuses on nuclear agreement, and how Iran can be a voice of moderation (it’s not, but if people like him get their way, it would) and also the nuclear agreement.
The rest of the journey is worrying though. In the beginning of that speech, Rouhani goes full-on conspiracy theory, saying that these people want to make Islam look bad – and more importantly – make the West attack the region. This makes no sense. Of course everyone knows Rouhani doesn’t believe in that – but why does he say so? He sounds exactly like Iranian conservatives in some parts of that speech.