Washington D.C. – Congressman Eliot Engel, the senior Democratic Member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement in reaction to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly:

“President Rouhani missed an opportunity in his speech at the UN General Assembly to set a new constructive tone demonstrating Iranian seriousness in addressing its nuclear program. Far from engaging in a “charm offensive,” he repeated too many of the same old talking points blaming the United States and our allies for all of the world’s ills.

This type of rhetoric does not reflect any significant change in Iran’s calculus or behavior. The international community must continue to demand a complete and verifiable freeze of Iran’s nuclear weapons program, as called for in numerous UN Security Council resolutions.

We should make serious efforts to engage in a diplomatic process with Rouhani to resolve the nuclear problem, but until he takes concrete steps to demonstrate Iran’s seriousness, Congress should press forward with new sanctions that have already passed the House. And we must continue to make clear that all options remain on the table to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapons capability.”