Critical Analysis of President Rouhani’s Discourse at UN General Assembly

شناسنامه علمی شماره


Department of English Language and Literature, Azarbaijan Shahid Madani University


A political discourse contains some features that must be constant in them to be recognized and understood by the audience as such, and it must, at the same time, fulfill the purpose of persuading the addressees. The paper investigated persuasive strategies as well as the ideology of moderation enshrined in the public speaking of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran H. E. Dr. Hassan Rouhani before the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly. It is grounded in Norman Fairclough’s assumption in Critical Discourse Analysis that ideologies are located in texts and that it is not possible to separate them from the text, so texts are open to different interpretation (Fairclough, 1995). Thus the selected ideological and persuasive components were examined, revealing Rouhani’s Persuasive techniques in terms of argument regarding nuclear issue. Searle’s typology of Speech Act Theory was applied as a framework to investigate the illocutionary force of sentences in the speech. Furthermore, the use of Aristotle’s three appeals, Ethos, Logos, and Pathos were examined with regard to the Persuasive strategies. A careful detailed investigation of the communicative role of pronouns showed that Rouhani made use of strategic deixis to unite himself with the addressees and ordinary people as well as to exhort western countries toward cooperation and dissuade them from excessive demands in nuclear negotiations.