President Hassan Rouhani left Tehran on Monday for New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly on a mission to gain Iran's support against the "cruel" pressure of the arch-enemy United States.
Speaking to reporters before boarding his flight, Rouhani said his delegation was heading to the UN meeting despite the reluctance of the administration of the president of the United States, Donald Trump, to issue visas.
Tehran and Washington have been at odds since May last year when Trump abandoned a 2015 nuclear agreement and began imposing sanctions on Iran in a campaign declared "maximum pressure."
"When Americans are not willing [to let Iran participate], we must insist on traveling, "Rouhani said.
"It is essential for us to participate in the UN General Assembly and speak at various levels," he said at a press conference at Mehrabad airport in Tehran.
"The cruel actions that have been taken against the Iranian nation and also the difficult and complicated problems that our region faces with them must be explained to the people and countries of the world."
Rouhani said he would present an Iranian plan for peace in the Gulf to the UN General Assembly.
& # 39; The peace effort of Hormuz & # 39;
According to the plan called the peace effort of Hormuz, or ESPERANZA, he said: "All coastal states of the Persian Gulf are invited to join this coalition to provide and maintain regional security."
Tensions have increased in the Gulf since May, when Iran began reducing its commitments under the nuclear agreement and the United States deployed military assets in the region.
Tensions have escalated even more in the wake of the devastating attacks of September 14 against the Saudi oil facilities that Washington and Riyadh have attributed, to a greater or lesser extent, to Tehran.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that "the United Kingdom attributes responsibility with a very high degree of probability to Iran" for attacks on Saudi oil infrastructure. Press association News agency reported Monday.
Johnson himself was heading to New York, where he planned to meet with the president of Iran.
Since withdrawing from the nuclear agreement, the United States has imposed a wave of sanctions against Iran that have targeted its armed forces, financial sector and senior officials, including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Iran responded by reducing its commitments under the 2015 agreement that promised relief from sanctions in exchange for limiting the scope of its nuclear program.
The United States has said it will present its case against Iran at the UN meeting.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States wanted to give diplomacy "all the opportunities to succeed" in the wake of the attacks that burned the Abqaiq plant in Saudi Arabia and the Khurais oil field.
"Our administration is taking this seriously and we are working diligently to see that this has a diplomatic result," he said. ABC "This week" on Sunday.
"But make no mistake about it, if we do not succeed in that and Iran continues to attack in this way, I am sure that President Trump will make the necessary decisions to achieve our goals."