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

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory 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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid