News / USA

Iran, US Talked Big, Now Take it Slow

US, Iran Take on More Cautious Tonei
X
September 25, 2013 2:50 PM
After a wave of optimism prior to the UN General Assembly, a hoped-for thaw between the U.S. and Iran is not taking hold as quickly as some had hoped. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.

VIDEO: After a wave of optimism prior to the UN General Assembly, a hoped-for thaw between the U.S. and Iran is not taking hold as quickly as some had hoped. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.

A hoped-for thaw between the U.S. and Iran is not taking hold as quickly as some had hoped. Both U.S. President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke at the United Nations Tuesday, but instead of grand gestures, the world saw optimistic yet cautious rhetoric.
 
While addressing the U.N. General Assembly for the first time, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani sounded hopeful regarding better relations with the U.S.
 
"We can arrive at a framework to manage our differences," he said.
 
However, despite the positive words, more familiar demands followed as the Iranian president staked out Tehran's position more clearly.
 
"Acceptance of and respect for the implementation of the right to enrichment inside Iran and enjoyment of other related nuclear rights, provides the only path," said the Iranian president.
 
Rouhani's speech echoed the somber tone sounded earlier by U.S. President Barack Obama.
 
"We are encouraged that President Rouhani received from the Iranian people a mandate to pursue a more moderate course. The roadblocks may prove to be too great, but I firmly believe the diplomatic path must be tested," said Obama during his address.
 
Obama's words were carefully chosen, according to Joe Cirincione of the Ploughshares Fund, a foundation committed to a world free from the threat of nuclear weapons.
 
 “I think the U.S. president is clearly extending a hand to Iran and hoping to get a handshake back,” said Cirincione.
             
There was hope for a literal handshake earlier, at a U.N. luncheon, but U.S. officials said a meeting was offered but turned down by Iran. The Iranians said to hold even a brief meeting between the two presidents would be "too complicated."
 
Jessica Tuchman Mathews, of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, says such difficulties shouldn't be a surprise.
 
“Even if Rouhani has for now the supreme leader’s support, there are a lot of politicians in Iran that would like to see him fail, whose economic and political fortunes are made by no relation with the U.S.,” said Mathews.
 
Still, Iran has agreed to pursue confidence building measures. Iran analyst Geneive Abdo says it could be the first step in a long process.
 
“It’s imperative for the United States to convince the Iranians that they too want change and to end the hostility and that now the long process of doing that has begun,” said Abdo.
 
The next step may come when U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in the highest-level meeting between the two countries in decades.

Jeff Seldin

Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters covering a wide variety of subjects, from the nature of the growing terror threat in Northern Africa to China’s crackdown on Tibet and the struggle over immigration reform in the United States. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

You May Like

WHO: Anti-Ebola Efforts Should Focus on West Africa

Official says WHO is 'reasonably confident' countries bordering those hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak are not seeing the virus crossing their borders More

South Sudan Crisis Threatens Development

Economic costs and lost development opportunities in South Sudan have erased what little progress the country has made since independence in 2011 More

Ukrainian PM Warns: Russia May Try to Disrupt Sunday Poll

Arseniy Yatsenyuk orders full security mobilization for parliamentary election to prevent ‘terrorist acts’ from being carried out More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ajax Lessome from: USA
September 26, 2013 12:19 AM
Good luck to Kerry. He will need all the luck in the world to come to a peaceful resolution. Rouhani came to NY and lured Obama into a humiliating position of chasing after him for a meeting — only to summarily dismiss the offer when it was eagerly tendered. And then he gave a defiant speech to boot that surrendered not an inch to U.S. demands. President Rouhani is a poster child of his clerical-fascist regime. For evidence, look no further than this speech. Short of the apocalyptic and often offensive rhetoric of his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Rouhani offered no real novelty. Iran’s elected president remains beholden to the primitive rhetoric of his regime. He showed no propensity to bank on the good will that Western nations expressed toward him and he rebuffed President Obama for trying to be conciliatory. There will be no change in Iran’s posture, either on nuclear issues or on regional issues. President Rouhani’s speech should disabuse us of the notion that we can find an understanding with him on the strength of his supposed moderation. There is no moderation – and the sooner Western leaders acknowledge that, the better. It's highly doubtful given Rouhani's long and loyal service to the regime as outlined at the site www.hassan-rouhani.info. The only real hope is to continue economic pressure on the regime leadership and enable regime change through the Iranian people.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid