September 27, 2013
Re "U.S., Iran talk of diplomacy, differences," Sept. 25 President Obama has seldom failed to disappoint. He appeared to recognize, a couple of years ago, that an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement would have to be based on the pre-1967 borders - a plan that made sense to everybody except the Israelis, so he stopped pushing it. At the U.N. on Tuesday, Obama "conceded," as The Times puts it, that "Iranians long have complained of U.S. interference...
September 27, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Breaking a silence of more than three decades between the leaders of the United States and Iran, President Obama on Friday called President Hassan Rouhani to express confidence that the two can find a "comprehensive solution" to their nuclear standoff and begin restoring the nations' damaged relationship. Hoping to boost a new round of talks, Obama called Rouhani as the Iranian was driving to the airport after a week at the United Nations. Leaders of the two nations had not spoken since Iran's 1979 revolution, when militants took 52 Americans hostage and held them for 444 days.
September 26, 2013 |
If you like happy Hollywood endings, go to the movies. The Obama administration's effort to negotiate a deal on the nuclear issue with Iran's mullahs is going to be a wild and unpredictable ride. And for a lot of reasons, reaching a happy conclusion will be tough. A deal on Iran's nuclear program is partly about shutting down centrifuges, exporting uranium stocks, capping enrichment activities. It will require inspections, safeguards and the dismantling of sanctions. But at its heart, the deal will involve politics.
September 25, 2013 |
TEHRAN -- Iranians pored over news accounts Wednesday of President Hassan Rouhani's speech to the United Nations General Assembly, with those eager to break out of Iran's isolation expressing disappointment that their new leader didn't meet with President Obama or offer more concrete steps for sanctions relief. Hard-liners, however, seemed mostly pleased with Rouhani's steadfast defense Tuesday of Iran's right to enrich uranium and develop its nuclear industry. Western countries accuse Iran of refining uranium for the purpose of building a nuclear bomb, and have made sanctions relief contingent on Tehran stopping the enrichment.
September 25, 2013 |
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's visit to the United Nations this week is being analyzed in excruciating detail for signs that the long-stalled negotiations over Iran's nuclear program can finally gain traction. What exactly did Rouhani mean when he talked about peace and moderation? The media blitz has been interesting, but what really matters is what Rouhani does with his first 100 days in office. Although a new leader's first 100 days is admittedly an arbitrary marker - the Iranian president's U.N. speech punctuated the halfway mark - in Rouhani's case, it will be a reasonable test of whether he can match his words with actions.
September 24, 2013 |
UNITED NATIONS -- President Obama made a direct personal appeal to Iran's new president Tuesday, issuing an overture for a diplomatic resolution of Iran's disputed nuclear program as a “major step down a long road” toward better relations. “The roadblocks may prove to be too great, but I firmly believe the diplomatic path must be tested,” Obama said in a lengthy address to the United Nations General Assembly. “Iran's genuine commitment to go down a different path will be good for the region and the world and will help the Iranian people meet their extraordinary potential," Obama said.
September 20, 2013 |
Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani, has introduced himself to the American people as a pro-peace leader, a hippie in comparison to his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. When asked, for example, whether he thought President Obama looked weak after backing off his threat to strike Syria as punishment for using chemical weapons, he delivered a response that would make Bob Dylan sing. “We consider war a weakness,” he told NBC News correspondent Ann Curry on Wednesday. “Any government or administration that decides to wage a war, we consider a weakness.
September 19, 2013 |
A massacre this month at an Iranian exile camp in Iraq that killed 52 people under international protection was an act of premeditated slaughter and should be thoroughly investigated by the United Nations, two former foreign ministers told the world body Thursday. Former foreign ministers Bernard Kouchner of France and Sid Ahmed Ghozali of Algeria told a U.N. panel in Geneva that the Sept. 1 raid on the exile refuge known as Camp Ashraf represents "a crime against humanity. " The former top diplomats also said they had grave fear for the safety of seven survivors of the attack who were taken hostage.
September 18, 2013 |
Iran will never develop nuclear weapons, President Hassan Rouhani vowed Wednesday in his first U.S. media interview since his inauguration last month. Rouhani also said in the interview in Tehran with NBC News international correspondent Ann Curry that he has the authority to cut a deal with the United States and other Western countries to allay their fear that Tehran's uranium enrichment activity is aimed at creating weapons-grade fuel for a nuclear bomb. Rouhani told NBC in the interview, scheduled to air at 6:30 p.m., that President Obama had written to him to congratulate him on his June 14 election and to raise "some issues.
September 7, 2013 |
JERUSALEM -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted coolly Saturday to comments on Twitter over the weekend by Iran's foreign minister, and purportedly its new president, wishing Jews a happy new year on the holiday of Rosh Hashanah. Netanyahu, who has been urging the United States and the international community to crack down on Iran's disputed nuclear program, scoffed at suggestions that the widely circulated messages signal a more moderate approach by Iran and accused the Islamic Republic of trying to fool the world.