Iran's Rouhani may meet Obama

Discussion in 'West Asia & Africa' started by pmaitra, Sep 16, 2013.

  1. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Iran's Rouhani may meet Obama at UN after American president reaches out

    First meeting of US and Iranian leaders since 1979 revolution could open way to diplomatic end to Iranian nuclear standoff

    An exchange of letters between Barack Obama and the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, has set the stage for a possible meeting between the two men at the UN next week in what would be the first face-to-face encounter between a US and Iranian leader since Iran's 1979 revolution.

    Britain's foreign secretary, William Hague, is also due to meet his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, at the UN general assembly meeting in New York, adding to guarded optimism that the June election of Rouhani, a Glasgow-educated moderate, and his appointment of a largely pragmatic cabinet, has opened the door to a diplomatic solution to the 11-year international standoff over Iran's nuclear programme.

    Tehran took the Foreign Office by surprise, tweeting on Rouhani's English-language feed that the president would also be prepared to meet Hague, something the UK had not even requested.

    "Tehran has responded positively to UK's request. President Rouhani's meeting w/WilliamJHague on the sidelines of UNGA has been confirmed," the tweet said.

    "We would be happy to meet," a Foreign Office spokeswoman said, "but we have had nothing formal from Tehran about it."

    Diplomats said that the tweet reflected the new Iranian government's eagerness to make diplomatic headway on the nuclear issue, which has been at an impasse for several years. A Hague meeting with either Rouhani or Zarif could clear the way to restoring full diplomatic ties, which have not existed since the British embassy in Tehran was ransacked by a mob in November 2011.

    In a television interview aired on Sunday, Obama made clear that there was a diplomatic opening with Iran, not only over the nuclear question but also over Syria. He confirmed earlier reports that he and Rouhani had "reached out" to each other, exchanging letters.

    US officials were sceptical about a Rouhani meeting, but some observers said the Geneva deal on Syria's chemical weapons has opened new space for global diplomacy.

    Trita Parsi, head of the National Iranian American Council and an expert on US-Iran diplomacy, said "I think there is a chance [of a meeting]. It would be a strong political push for movement. If Obama got involved, it would be the infusion of political will needed to reach an agreement.

    "Tehran is already claiming some of the credit for the Syria deal. Rouhani needs to show that through his diplomatic efforts he has already avoided a war. He is desperate in his first six months to show his approach has paid more dividends than the hardline approach of his predecessor."

    Parsi added that if Obama was to meet Rouhani it was likely to be an orchestrated encounter in a corridor, rather than a sit-down talk, "to give both sides deniability". The last encounter between an American and Iranian leader was when Jimmy Carter met the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, in 1977.

    Speaking on ABC's This Week, Obama raised the prospect of Iran getting involved in broader talks on Syria if Tehran recognised "that what's happening there is a train wreck that hurts not just Syrians but is destabilising the entire region". He said the Geneva deal could pave the way for more general talks involving Russia and Iran aimed at "some sort of political settlement that would deal with the underlying terrible conflict".

    In the same interview, Obama also urged Iran's leadership not to draw the wrong lessons from his decision to draw back from air strikes on Syria in pursuit of a diplomatic solution to the chemical weapons crisis. He said it showed that it was possible to resolve the standoff over Iran's nuclear aspirations peacefully, but insisted it did not indicate a weakening of US resolve to stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

    "I think what the Iranians understand is that the nuclear issue is a far larger issue for us than the chemical weapons issue, that the threat against … Israel that a nuclear Iran poses is much closer to our core interests. That a nuclear arms race in the region is something that would be profoundly destabilising," Obama said in the ABC interview, which was recorded on Friday, before a final Syria deal with Russia was struck in Geneva.

    "My suspicion is that the Iranians recognise they shouldn't draw a lesson that [because] we haven't struck to think we won't strike Iran," Obama said, in remarks that may also have been intended as a reassurance to Israel that US deterrence against any Iranian attempt to build nuclear weapons had not been weakened.

    After meeting John Kerry, US secretary of state, the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, stressed the same point. "The determination the international community shows regarding Syria will have a direct impact on the Syrian regime's patron – Iran," Netanyahu said. "Iran must understand the consequences of its continued defiance of the international community by its pursuit toward nuclear weapons," he added.

    However, Obama insisted: "What they should draw from this lesson is that there is the potential of resolving these issues diplomatically. You know, negotiations with the Iranians are always difficult. I think this new president is not going to suddenly make it easy. But you know, my view is that … if you have both a credible threat of force, combined with a rigorous diplomatic effort, that, in fact you can strike a deal."

    Source: Iran's Rouhani may meet Obama at UN after American president reaches out | World news | The Guardian
     
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  3. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    My reflections:
    1. It is good that there is a détente between Iran and the United States.
    2. The US needs to shake itself out of the stranglehold of the AIPAC (Israeli lobby) it currently find itself in.
    3. Netanyahu is doing all he can to throw his spanner in the works, and needs to be sized down. He would do good to demonstrate to Iran, and the world, that Iran will be safe from an Israeli aggression, should the Iranians give up their WMDs. It is also incumbent upon Israel to give up its chemical weapons, if it wants a similar reciprocity from Iran.
    4. The Jewish controlled American media needs to stop reminding the world about the Holocaust in almost every piece of article they publish, when it is not warranted, or is a complete non-sequitur. In other words, they need to quit playing the victim card. Yes, the Holocaust happened, but many other mass murders have happened in the history of humankind. We've heard it umpteen of times, and its getting annoying.
     
  4. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Obama Says He Wants to Test Iran President's Interest in Dialogue

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that Iran's new President Hassan Rouhani appears to want to open a dialogue with the United States and that he is willing to test whether this is the case.


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    Obama's comment in an interview with Spanish-language network Telemundo was the latest indication the president would like to jump from the crisis over Syria's chemical weapons to a new search for a diplomatic deal to ensure Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon.

    Last weekend, Obama revealed he and Rouhani had exchanged letters about the U.S.-Iran standoff. Both leaders will be at the U.N. General Assembly in New York next week, although White House officials say they are no current plans for them to meet.

    "There is an opportunity here for diplomacy," Obama told Telemundo. "And I hope the Iranians take advantage of it."

    Obama ran for president in 2008 in part by vowing to open a dialogue with Iran.

    But there has been no breakthrough and sanctions by Washington and the United Nations to weaken Iran's economy have gradually been increased to try to pressure Tehran to give up a nuclear program that it denies is aimed at building a weapon.

    "There are indication that Rouhani, the new president, is somebody who is looking to open dialogue with the West and with the United States, in a way that we haven't seen in the past. And so we should test it," Obama said.

    Since the surprise election in June of Rouhani, a centrist cleric, officials from both countries have made increasing hints that they are open to direct talks to seek an end to the decade-long nuclear dispute.
    http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2013...euters-iran-usa-obama.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0
     
  5. dhananjay1

    dhananjay1 Regular Member

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    Re: Obama Says He Wants to Test Iran President's Interest in Dialogue

    I don't think the powers that be in US want to resolve the Iran issue with dialogue. If they do, there has been no outward signs of it. What Obama wants or doesn't want, doesn't matter much.
     
  6. W.G.Ewald

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

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