Iranian President Hassan Rohani, who is in New York attending UN meetings, said extremists multiply in lands stricken with poverty and environmental crises.

Hassan Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, addresses the audience during the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the United Nations in New York on September 24, 2013. AFP PHOTO POOL-Brendan McDermid

Hassan Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, addresses the audience during the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the United Nations in New York on September 24, 2013. AFP PHOTO POOL-Brendan McDermid

In a speech on Saturday September 26 at the sustainable development meeting at UN headquarters, Rohani pointed out that terrorism is an obstacle to implementing sustainable development projects, adding that western Asia is grappling with catastrophes of “violence against nature and human beings”.

Rohani stated that Iran has shown strong support for the Millennium Development Goals, adding that “the achievement of a nuclear agreement between Iran and the 5+1” will pave the way for “regional and international cooperation on environmental issues.”

The Millennium Development Goals was a 15-year plan prepared by UN member states in 2000 to reduce poverty and promote environmental sustainability among its eight goals.

Rohani referred to the Iranian government’s efforts to replenish lakes and fight drought and environmental crises, saying his administration has been highly sensitive to environmental issues while formulating its economic development policies.

Iran has been suffering from severe droughts leading to the loss of lakes and wetlands for many years. The loss of forests is another environmental crisis faced by the country.