Close your eyes, breathe in deeply, now exhale slowly… That was easy, wasn’t it? Not for everyone…
The one constant in the West’s confrontation with Iran over the latter’s nuclear program has been the Iranians’ success at delaying any American acknowledgement that the diplomatic phase may have finally run its course. All the while, of course, Iran has steadily progressed in its march toward a nuclear weapons capacity.
For all the talk of lines in the sand and crossing red lines, Iran seems to have weathered the unprecedented economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. and others and thumbed its nose at the prospect of military action. In fact, the public pronouncements by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s successor, Hassan Rouhani, are replete with calls for diplomatic cooperation between Iran and the international community based on respect for Iran’s right to nuclear power and parity in its dealings with the West.
So for Iran, clearly, the game continues. Unfortunately, it seems that President Obama has seized on the advent of Mr. Rouhani as yet another reason to give diplomacy more time – and effectively, more time for Tehran to move farther along the road to becoming a nuclear power.
In his first news conference after his election in mid-June, President Rouhani said he wanted to improve his country’s relations with the United States, referring to the thirty four-year-old estrangement between the U.S. and Iran as “an old wound that must be treated,” but went on to describe several preconditions that needed to be met for a “constructive dialogue.”
“First,” he said, “America must not interfere in Iran’s domestic affairs…. They have to recognize our nuclear rights, put away bullying policies against Iran. And if such, and they have good intent, then the situation will change.” He added, however, that Iran had no plans to suspend uranium development, adding, “Those days are behind us.”
In a speech within hours of his inauguration last Sunday, Mr. Rouhani again called for a diplomatic process leading to better relations between Iran and the West, again laying down some conditions:
Constructive interaction on equal footing and based upon mutual respect and common interest will be the basis of our relations with other countries, and we will move to enhance our ties proportionate to the behavior and attitude of the other sides…. I frankly say that if you want a proper response, speak to the Iranian nation not with the language of sanction, but with the language of respect.
He went on to pledge to take “new steps on the scene of international relations in a bid to enhance Iran’s dignity and position based on national interests and removal of the present cruel sanctions.”
For its part, the Obama administration seemed to be inclined to be receptive. White House press secretary Jay Carney said President Rouhani’s inauguration “presents an opportunity for Iran to act quickly to resolve the international community’s deep concern over Iran’s nuclear program. Should this new government choose to engage substantively and seriously to meet its international obligations and find a peaceful solution to the issue, it will find a willing partner in the United States.”
It will be recalled that while campaigning for office in 2008, Mr. Obama expressed a desire to engage in talks with Iran without preconditions, and following his inauguration he signaled a willingness to dialogue with Iranian leaders willing to “unclench their fists.” That effort was rebuffed by Iran.
It’s not always easy to parse verbal exchanges between governments in order to glean whether the back and forth is part of a diplomatic minuet or whether something more substantial is afoot. But it does seem that the U.S. sees some promise in Mr. Rouhani’s election and is taking a wait and see attitude. And the fact is, President Obama may have little choice but to give Mr. Rouhani some time if there is even a glimmer of hope of avoiding a military confrontation.
But we’ve seen this movie before and the clock on Iran’s development of a nuclear capacity continues ticking. Indeed, Mr. Rouhani was Iran’s lead negotiator in its talks with the U.S. and the West. It was he who was in the forefront of the stalling that allowed Iran to continue its development of a nuclear capacity. And Mr. Rouhani, even if he’s sincere about seeking better relations, seems hardly ready for any serious concessions.
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
Some Israelis seem to have forgotten no one has yet tracked down the murderers of Ali Bawabsheh.
Aside from my own 485-page tome on the subject, Red Army, I think Jamie Glazov did an excellent job at framing things in United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror.
“Isn’t it enough that the whole world hates us? WHy do we have to hate each other?”
In 2015, Israel’s fertility rate (3+ births per woman) is higher than all Arab countries except 3
The New Israel Fund, as usual, condemns the State of Israel rather than condemning a horrible act.
I sought a Muslim group that claims to preach a peaceful and accepting posture of Islam, Ahmadiyya
While Orthodox men are encouraged to achieve and celebrated for it, Orthodox women too often are not
Jonathan remember, as long as you’re denied your right to come home to Israel you’re still in prison
Reports of a dead baby, a devastated family, and indications of a gloating attacker.
“The fear of being exposed publicly is the only thing that will stop people,” observed Seewald.
“Yesha” and Binyamin Regional Council leaders said the attack “is not the path of Jews in Judea and Samaria.”
The occasion? The rarely performed mitzvah of pidyon peter chamor: Redemption of a firstborn donkey.
American leftists have a pathological self-inflicted blindness to the dangers of political Islam
Hillary should THANK Trump; By dominating the news he’s overshadowed the implosion of her campaign
The next day, in a speech in New York to the Council on Foreign Relations, Mr. Kerry substantially upped the ante.
Mr. Silver’s legislation changed the primary date to April 19, which avoids any conflict. And, we are happy to say, he received the support of Republicans in the legislature for changing the date.
The issue of the Chief Rabbinate’s control over conversions and other life-cycle matters has long been a contentious one.
Can adoption agencies limit the placement of children to heterosexual couples only?
The court’s finding that the president has exclusive jurisdiction in recognizing foreign countries might have been be apt if the issue at hand were a congressional attempt to grant recognition to “Palestine” as a state.
It wasn’t too long ago that Mr. Erdogan, in his determination to burnish Turkey’s credentials as an Islamist state at the cost of the secularism that had brought much economic and political success to Turkey, upended his country’s decades-long cooperative relationship with Israel.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/obamas-renewed-outreach-to-iran/2013/08/07/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: