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Watch Amanpour's interview with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on CNN International on Wednesday at 1400 ET / 2000 CET
By Mick Krever, CNN
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday delivered his first English-language TV message to the American people in an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour.
"I would like to say to American people: I bring peace and friendship from Iranians to Americans," he said.
Rouhani is in many ways the "it" man of this U.N. General Assembly, where Western leaders are trying to gauge whether his diplomatic overtures will translate into concrete policy changes.
He has recently exchanged letters with U.S. President Barack Obama, and there had been suspicion brewing in diplomatic circles that the two leaders would meet face-to-face, informally, at the United Nations in New York.
"There were some talks about it," Rouhani told Amanpour through a translator. "And preparation for the work was done a bit as well."
CNN's Christiane Amanpour speaks with French President Francois Hollande about Syria and Iran.
CNN's Christiane Amanpour speaks with French President Francois Hollande about Kenya, Mali and Libya.
Coercive force must be on the table in any deal for Syria to give up its chemical weapons, French President Francois Hollande told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in an exclusive interview on Tuesday in New York.
A resolution that “would not consider any breach” by the Assad regime in destroying its chemical weapons would have “no scope” and “no punch,” he said.
“So France is looking for a resolution that must be binding, enforceable, so that in case of a breach we can go back to the Security Council and allow it to take sanctions,” President Hollande told Amanpour through an interpreter.
President Hollande has given France an unusually active and interventionist role on the world stage.
It was largely France and the United Kingdom that led the charge to intervene in Libya, and at the beginning of this year French troops entered Mali to stop Islamist rebels from taking over that country.
“The role of France is not to apply its ambitions all around the world,” President Hollande said. “We have no intent of influencing or defending commercial or trade interests. What we are fighting for are rules, principles, values.”
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