Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Thursday criticized Western nations for sowing extremism in the Middle East and paving the way for the rise of the Islamic State (referred to as ISIS or ISIL) through military interventions and “strategic blunders.”

“Certain intelligence agencies have put blades in the hands of mad men who now spare no one,” said Rouhani in an address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “All those who have played a role in founding and supporting these terror groups must acknowledge their errors.”

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Rouhani directly criticized the U.S.-led invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, declaring, democracy “cannot be transplanted from abroad.”

The Iranian president echoed the pro-war tone of President Obama while urging a regional response. “I am struck that these murderous groups call themselves Islamic,” said Rouhani. “The right solution to this quandary comes from within the region and regionally provided solution with international support and not from the outside the region,” he declared.

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