A day before Iranian President Hassan Roughani will address the United Nations, New York City mayoral hopefuls joined a coalition Monday calling on the newly elected leader to promote peace.
"Words are not as important as actions," Republican candidate Joe Lhota said at a press conference organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council of NY.
Since Roughani was elected in June, his rhetoric has been milder than that of his controversial predecessor, but New York community leaders and politicians asked that this messaging be matched with action.
While Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio said that "relentless pressure" from global and local leaders caused this softening, Independent candidate Adolfo Carrión was a little more skeptical, saying Roughani had launched a "charm offensive."
"Let us not be lulled into a false sense of security," Carrión said, adding, "It is not a time to back off or back down."
The three candidates also took the press conference as an opportunity to reaffirm their support of the Jewish state, suggesting an attempt to court the large and powerful pro-Israel community in the city.
"All political types and persuasions are here supporting the state of Israel today. And it's very, very important that we stand together," Lhota said.
De Blasio and other speakers stressed that the Iranian government continues to be the largest state sponsor of terror.
"Until they fundamentally change their ways, we will continue to regard them as such," he said.
De Blasio said that New Yorkers need to be particularly vigilant with threats from Iran and elsewhere.
"We know, sadly, that we are the No. 1 target right here in New York City," he said.
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