Iranian President Hasan Rouhani will address the United Nations for the first time later Tuesday on a day when President Obama is also due to speak.
Already, Rouhani has displayed a more conciliatory tone in his dealings with the West on a range of issues. On Monday, for example, Rouhani's foreign minister agreed to restart nuclear negotiations with six world powers.
Earlier this month, his cabinet sent Rosh Hashanah greetings to Jews on their New Year's holiday.
By contrast, Rouhani's predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, paid eight visits to the U.N. headquarters in New York, and many of them were fraught with tension.
Most of Ahmadinejad's speeches to the General Assembly were in fact boycotted by the U.S., Israel and Western allies.
Some of Ahmadinejad's more memorable comments include:
NO GAYS IN IRAN?
In 2007, Ahmadinejad was in New York to address the General Assembly. He also delivered a speech at Columbia University where he provoked derisive laughter when he responded to a question about Iran's execution of homosexuals.
"In Iran, we don't have homosexuals like in your country," Ahmadinejad said.
At that same 2007 speech at Columbia, he defended Holocaust revisionists. The speech caused such outrage, he was forced to cancel a trip to Ground Zero because of planned protests and fears for his security.
In 2008, Ahmadinejad bashed Israel, saying "the Zionist regime is on a definite slope to collapse, and there is no way for it to get out of the cesspool created by itself and its supporters."
In 2012, he declared Israel has no place in the Middle East.
In 2010, Ahmadinejad perpetuated the conspiracy theory that Americans were behind the Sept. 11 attacks, saying they were staged in an attempt to assure Israel's survival. He said the U.S. used the attacks as a pretext to invade Afghanistan and Iraq.
In 2008, he declared that "the American empire" is nearing collapse and should end its military involvement in other countries.
In 2005, the Iranian leader accused unnamed "powerful states" — an apparent reference to the U.S. and some European countries — of engaging in "nuclear apartheid" by barring some nations from gaining access to peaceful nuclear technology. Afterward, Ahmadinejad said he felt "bathed in light" during his speech and claimed his audience was so enraptured that they "did not blink."
Contributing: Associated Press