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Exclusive: Iran's Hassan Rouhani says ISIS wants to 'kill humanity'

In an exclusive interview Wednesday with NBC News's Ann Curry, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani denounced the extremists' beheading of innocents.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told NBC News's Ann Curry on Wednesday that ISIS terrorists "want to kill humanity." In an exclusive interview at the presidential palace in Tehran, ahead of his visit to the United Nations, Rouhani denounced the extremists' beheading of innocents.

"From the viewpoint of the Islamic tenets and culture, killing an innocent people equals the killing of the whole humanity," he said. "And therefore, the killing and beheading of innocent people in fact is a matter of shame for them and it's the matter of concern and sorrow for all the human and all the mankind."

Rouhani sat down with Curry a year after she became the first American journalist to interview him following his election — ahead of a thawing in U.S.-Iranian relations that paved the way for talks with the West about Tehran's disputed nuclear program. He is scheduled to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week.