News / Middle East

Hope for Change in Iran Tempered With Caution

Hope for Change in Iran Tempered With Cautioni
X
June 17, 2013 7:14 PM
Analysts are tamping down hopes of major changes in Iran, after the surprise election of relatively moderate candidate Hassan Rowhani as president. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Hope for Change in Iran Tempered With Caution
Al Pessin
Analysts are tamping down hopes of major changes in Iran, after the surprise election of relatively moderate candidate Hassan Rowhani as president.

Supporters of the new president-elect marched through the streets of Tehran to celebrate. Rowhani’s election on the first ballot, with more than 50 percent of the vote, surprised many experts.

On Monday, Rowhani told a news conference the “old wound” with the United States can be healed if Iran’s right to enrich uranium is recognized. He called for “constructive interaction” with the West “through moderation” designed to ease sanctions.

He said he is ready for more transparency in the nuclear program to show that it operates within what he called “international frameworks.”

For many, that would be a welcome change from his predecessor, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose policies and rhetoric antagonized many in Iran and around the world.

Rowhani received the usual congratulatory messages from world leaders.

Israeli President Shimon Peres expressed hope that what he called the “hidden strength” of the Iranian people would moderate the country’s policies.

But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took a tougher line. “The more pressure exerted on Iran, the greater the chances to bring an end to Iran's nuclear weapons program. One way or another it will be stopped."

Israel has threatened military action if negotiations do not end Iran’s alleged effort to develop a nuclear weapon, which Iran denies.

The country’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, keeps tight control on nuclear policy, so analysts do not expect much change.  

President-elect Rowhani was Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator 10 years ago, though, and he did convince his country’s leaders to briefly moderate their policies. That leads Iran expert Mark Fitzpatrick to have at least a little hope for his tenure as president.

“It doesn’t affect the fundamental backing for the nuclear program. I don’t see any change in that, but [maybe] some tactical compromises and willingness to make agreements, make a deal. I mean, we’re not going to get a solution unless there’s willingness to make a deal,” said Fitzpatrick.

And that could be what was on the minds of Rowhani’s jubilant supporters as they sang a pre-Islamic Republic patriotic song to celebrate his victory. Some told reporters they want “change” and “reform” and policies that don’t “trigger tensions” and lead to more economic sanctions.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs