Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, whom the Obama administration has considered enlisting in the fight against the Islamic State, blamed the growing threat of the jihadist group on the West’s involvement in the Middle East.
During his speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, Rouhani said, “Today’s anti-Westernism is the offspring of yesterday’s colonialism; today’s anti-Westernism is a reaction to yesterday’s racism,” according to a live translation. “Certain intelligence agencies have put blades in the hands of madmen who now spare no one.”
“All those who have played a role in founding and supporting these terrorist groups must acknowledge their errors, which have led to extremism,” he continued. “They need to apologize not only to the past generations, but also to the next generation.”
He also chastised Western media for identifying the Islamic State as being motivated by Islam.
“I am astonished that these murderous groups call themselves ‘Islamic,’” he said. “What is more astonishing is that the Western media in line with them repeats this false claim, which provokes the hatred of all Muslims.”
President Obama and other Western leaders, however, have gone to lengths to argue that the Islamic State is not properly Islamic.