The Prime Minister met President Rouhani of Iran this morning at the United Nations in New York, the first such meeting since the Iranian Revolution in 1979.
The PM and President acknowledged that there had been significant differences between their countries in the past, and agreed that we should seek to progressively improve our bilateral relationship. They agreed that this would help build mutual trust and create the environment in which issues such as the future of Iran’s nuclear programme could be successfully addressed. They agreed that this was a critical moment in negotiations on Iran’s nuclear programme, and that it was vital to seize the opportunity of securing a comprehensive agreement.
The Prime Minister and President noted the threat posed to the whole region by ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), and agreed that all states in the region must do more to cut off support for all terrorist groups, including financial support. The Prime Minister welcomed the support the Iranian government had given to the new government of Iraq, and its efforts to promote more inclusive governance for all Iraqis. He argued that a similar approach was needed in Syria, to promote a transition to a new government capable of representing all Syrians.
The Prime Minister also raised the treatment of dual UK/Iranians nationals, in particular the case of Ms Ghoncheh Ghavami, underlining the impact that such cases had on Iran’s image in the UK.