As Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addressed the United Nations General Assembly, hundreds gathered outside to denounce what they called his government's human rights abuses. Vanessa Johnston reports.
Waving Iranian flags...they made their message loud and clear. NATS -- "Rouhani must go!" Just outside the U.N. headquarters, where Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was addressing the General Assembly. (SOUNDBITE) (Persian) IRANIAN PRESIDENT, HASSAN ROUHANI, SAYING: "Two years ago, the people of Iran, in a competitive election with their votes, gave me a mandate for consolidating peace and constructive engagement with the world by pursuing national rights, interests and security." But Sam Sariri says Rouhani's government has been no different than that of former Supreme Leader Khamenei (KHAH-ME-NE-YII) or former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. (SOUNDBITE) (Persian) SAM SARIRI, PROTESTER, SAYING: "Since he became Iran's president, he's executed over 2,000 people. He's the same as all the other dictatorships -- as the Khomeinis, as the Ahmadinejadis, they're all the same." Fellow protester Delaram Ahmady agrees. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DELARAM AHMADY, PROTESTER, SAYING: "The Iranian regime is the source of many terrorism, including what's happening in Syria and other terrorist organizations in the Middle East region, as well as the atrocities and human rights violations that are happening within Iran." With the much of the world's attention focused on the speeches inside the U.N. this week..these protesters are hoping their voices will be heard on the outside.