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TEHRAN — On the eve of a landmark trip to attend the UN General Assembly, Iran’s president offered Sunday his most expansive vision that a deal to settle the impasse over Tehran’s nuclear program could open doors for greater cooperation on regional flash points such as the Syrian civil war.
The linking of Middle East affairs and broad-stroke rhetoric by Hasan Rouhani served as something of a final sales pitch to President Obama ahead of the UN gathering, where Rouhani hopes to garner pledges from Western envoys to restart stalled nuclear negotiations as a way to ease painful economic sanctions.
Rouhani also must try to sell his policies of outreach to skeptical Iranian hard-liners, including the powerful Revolutionary Guard.