Iran's president greeted in Tehran by supporters, protesters

Discussion in 'West Asia & Africa' started by Ray, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Iran's president greeted in Tehran by supporters, protesters with tomatoes

    By Ali Arouzi, Correspondent, NBC News

    TEHRAN – Opponents of President Hassan Rouhani booed and threw tomatoes, eggs and shoes at his car after Iran’s new leader returned from a ground-breaking visit to the United States, according to several witnesses.

    The episode involving dozens of protesters lasted less than a minute.

    Meanwhile, a larger crowd of supporters of the president, whose historic telephone conversation with President Barack Obama capped a publicity blitz streak that began with his sit-down with NBC News' Ann Curry last week, sacrificed a lamb in his honor and cheered him at the airport after his plane landed.

    The different groups held up competing placards, according to the New York Times’ Thomas Erdbrink.

    Obama revealed on Friday that he had talked with Rouhani, marking the first time leaders from the U.S. and Iran have directly communicated since the 1979 Iranian revolution.

    "Just now I spoke on the phone with President Rouhani of the Islamic Republic of Iran," he said from the White House.

    Rouhani spent the last few days at the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York, making a number of public addresses indicating that Iran might be open to a deeper relationship with the U.S. and the West, and resolving conflict around his country's nuclear program.

    This was not met as a positive step by some in Iran.

    Rajanews.com news website said there was no justification for Rouhani to talk to the "Great Satan," a term for the United States, adding that the conversation was "useless."

    Javad, a student and teacher who was at the airport, agreed with this stance.

    “I am against talks with America,” the 30-year-old told NBC News. “We did not have a revolution to make friends with America. Our new president is making a mistake if he thinks the Americans will honor a deal. We must stand firm or they will try and ruin our country.”

    Iran and the United States severed diplomatic ties in 1980 after students supporting the Iranian revolutionaries who overthrew the U.S.-backed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Iran took 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.

    But supporters of Rouhani in Tehran, who decisively won the June election, were also making themselves heard.

    “We have been waiting a long time for this,” said Marjan Samiee, a 33-year-old housewife. “I was very happy to hear that both our leaders spoke, I never thought this would happen. Let’s us hope this good will continues and we can put our differences aside.”
    Architect Layla Rezaei said she was surprised and happy that the two sides were talking.

    “I did not think it would happen, especially this quickly,” said the 41-year-old architect. “This is an opportunity that has not happened in 30 years and both sides should not waste the opportunity.”

    Alaeddin Boroujerdi, who heads parliament's foreign policy and national security committee, was quoted in the media as saying that the 15-minute telephone conversation between the two presidents showed Iran's “might.”

    Iranians are desperate for a removal of the sanctions, which have devastated the economy, with unemployment and inflation sky-high as a result of them. Ordinary tasks such as banking and getting medicine for sick patients are next to impossible. And Iran's oil output has plummeted, costing the country millions per year.

    On Tuesday, Rouhani told the U.N. General Assembly that Iran poses "absolutely no threat to the world" and that the sanctions imposed by the U.S. are "violent — pure and simple" and "intrinsically inhumane."

    As his stay at the U.N. wrapped up on Friday, Rouhani had nothing but kind words to say about the United States in a news conference: "The atmosphere is quite different from the past," he said. "Our goal is the shared interest between the two nations. Our goal is resolving problems, our goal is step-by-step creating trust between the governments and peoples."

    Obama noted that his conversation with Rouhani, which took place as the Iranian president headed to the airport, "underscores the deep mistrust between our countries, but also indicates the prospect of moving on that difficult history."

    Rezaei, the architect, agreed that any process of reconciliation would be a difficult and slow one, but rapprochement was possible.
    “I don’t think our government and the Americans will be best friends tomorrow but it could improve a bad atmosphere that has existed since the revolution,” she said. “We and the American people have a lot in common and it would be good to have relations. But I feel it is still early days.”

    Iran's president greeted in Tehran by supporters, protesters with tomatoes - World News

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    It is a good move to thaw the frosty relations of the US and Iran.

    It will be mutually beneficially, but then the divide is sharp and will take time and patience to smoothen the rough shoulders.

    It will be in Indian interest that there is the thaw.
     
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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Obama-Rouhani phone call gets divided reception

    Politicians and analysts were sharply divided over the importance of President Barack Obama's telephone call Friday with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

    Iran scholars broadly praised the first direct talks between the U.S. and Iranian leaders in 34 years. Iran itself sounded notes of caution. And Republicans scoffed.

    Obama dramatically revealed the 15-minute discussion at the top of a televised statement mostly devoted to challenging House Republicans to reach an accommodation on spending that would avoid a government shutdown next week.

    House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, wasn't alone among those in his party who accused Obama of preferring to talk to Iranian dictators over talking to them:

    Pres. Obama talks on the phone w/ Iran, still refuses to talk with #GOP about govt’s spending problem

    Likewise the chief spokesman for Boehner's deputy, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia:

    The President won't talk to people with bombs strapped to their chest...only the Iranian president, who literally funds that.

    "Iran's government remains — in spite of President Rouhani's rhetoric — a brutal, repressive theocracy," Cantor said later in a statement. "... The President suggests there is 'new leadership' in Iran, yet Supreme Leader Ayatollah [Ali] Khamenei remains the true ruler in Tehran, and we are only fooling ourselves when we suggest otherwise."

    Meanwhile, Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, saw the discussion not as a breakthrough but as a capitulation.

    "Our damaging sanctions have gotten Rouhani on the phone," Royce said in a statement. "We must increase the economic pressure until Iran stops its nuclear drive."

    Professional scholars and analysts sharply disagreed, describing the call as "historic" and "breathtaking."

    "This is part of a pattern that has led to a real breakthrough," said Gary Sick, a senior research scholar at the Columbia University School of International & Public Affairs.

    "And basically what's happening is that the ice that has covered the U.S.-Iran relationship for over the last 30 years is starting to break. And when ice starts to break up, it goes faster than you think," Sick told The Associated Press.

    Yasmin Alem, a senior fellow with the South Asia Center at the Atlantic Council, a nonpartisan public policy center in Washington, said the call was "an important milestone — a calculated risk by two cautious leaders mindful of domestic constraints.

    "More than anything else, it shows the high level of political capital invested in a peaceful resolution of the nuclear crisis," Alem told Reuters.

    Key to the initiative is support — or lack of it — from Israel, whose prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, will be in Washington and New York next week to make his case against Iran's nuclear program. The Israeli Foreign Ministry had no comment on the news Friday.

    A senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Israel "has every right to be skeptical of the Iranian government given statements out of Iran in the past."

    The discussions drew mainly neutral coverage in Iran itself — a possible signal that hard-line supporters of Khamenei are willing to give Rouhani some breathing room.

    Semi-official government websites reported that Obama and Rouhani had spoken, adding no criticism or congratulations of Rouhani.

    In an interview with The New York Times, Amir Mohebbian, a political adviser close to Khamenei, said "we could see this coming" after the meeting Thursday between Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

    Mohebbian stopped short of reading great significance into the call, describing it as "a polite farewell, a thank you for all the positivity from Iran."

    Obama-Rouhani phone call gets divided reception - U.S. News

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    The telephone call is the diplomatic way to feeling the pulse and was a correct move to ensure that grounds come to pass where there is a honourable middle path for both the sides.

    However, I found it most humorous that the Joeso, Boehner's deputy, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia says:

    The President won't talk to people with bombs strapped to their chest...only the Iranian president, who literally funds that.

    How now brown cow, why do you frown beneath the bow?

    How is it that it does not affect him man to fund Pakistan and give them defence toys when Pakistan is the real source for bombs strapped to chests? And does he condone Pakistani engineered 9/11?

    Convenient lapse in memory of this twit!

    There is no doubt that US has grievances over the hostage crisis, but then if the can forgive Pakistan for 9/11 and play Santa Claus, through out the years without fail, then what is the harm in giving a try to bring some sense to the madness prevailing around the world, where all are suffering?
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2013
    TrueSpirit likes this.
  4. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Would not happen without collusion of Iran government, I believe.
     

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