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January 17, 2014 11:33 am

Rouhani: Western Powers Trying to Spread Islamophobia in World

avatar by Joshua Levitt

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Friday accused “Big and Western powers” of spreading Islamophobia throughout the world, according to Iran’s semi-official state new agency FARS.

“Big and Western powers who are after their own interests in the region and seek to get their claws on the resources of Muslim countries, particularly in the oil and gas sectors, have always followed two ominous goals, namely to deepen divisions among Muslims and to spread Islamophobia in the world,” Rouhani was reported as saying in an address to the 27th International Islamic Unity Conference, a three-day event, in Tehran.

On Monday, Iran is set to formalize a six-month nuclear treaty with world powers in Geneva, originally agreed upon in November, to remove sanctions against the Islamic Republic and free some of its frozen international assets, in exchange for allowing inspectors more access to its nuclear facilities. Iran, which will keep its nuclear enrichment capability, has denied that it aims to create a nuclear weapon.

Within the Muslim world, Rouhani spoke of the importance of improving “dialog and interaction,” particularly in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Bahrain and Libya. “The Iranian government and nation have made it clear to the world that they are after moderation by adopting a policy of balance and prudence,” Rouhani said.

FARS said the aim of the 27th International Islamic Unity Conference is “bringing together local and international officials, intellectuals and scholars” to discuss “Muslim unity and the ongoing challenges in the Muslim world.”

FARS said 370 foreign guests are attending the conference from 50 countries, including Malaysia, Russia, Greece, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Algeria, the UK, the US, Australia, Uganda, Tunisia, Netherlands, Qatar, Yemen and Egypt.

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