On Sunday, In a ceremony to mark the 26th anniversary of the Montreal protocol, the resident UN Coordinator Garry Lewis read a meassage from Achim Steiner, the executive director of UNEP, congratulating my appointment as vice president of Iran. Steiner had also pointed to the UNEP Champion of the Earth award in his letter.
I spoke in that ceremony and mentioned the resolve of the government of Dr. Rohani to improve relations with the world and our policy of environmental diplomacy in the DOE as a strategy to enhance our role in the international community and promote regional and international collboration to face the current environmental challenges. I also planted a tree on that day in the name of peace,on the international day of peace and dialogue among civilisations. We also named a street in Pardisan Park on that occasion.
A number of prominent political prisoners were freed last week includind dr. Aminzadeh the former deputy minister and Nasrin Sotudeh. Hopes are high for the release of the remaining political prisoners who were detained after or due to the disputed elections of 2009.
President Rouhani has written an important note entitled Time to Engage in the Washington Post and former President Khatami has authored an article for the Guardian. In addition, President Rouhani is in New York for the UNGA session and there is much speculation that direct negotiations between the US and Iran will ease tensions in the region and help to resolve the current nuclear standoff.
I hope President Obama understands the unique opportunity created by the democratic elections leading to a wave of change in Iran. Iran is looking forward to a new era of constructive dialogue and engagement with the world.