Ervand Abrahamian


1 October 2013

Peace Panic

Hassan Rouhani, speaking at the United Nations General Assembly last week, warned against extremism and miscalculation, stressed the importance of prudence and ‘moderation’, reaffirmed that Iran’s nuclear programme had purely peaceful purposes, dismissed the notion that his country posed a threat to the Middle East, argued that politics was not a zero-sum game and that negotiations could settle differences, and denounced all uses of weapons of mass destruction, including chemical ones. He concluded with citations from the Psalms, the Torah and the Persian epic poet Ferdowsi.