News / Middle East

Iranians Eye Improved US Ties in 2014

Iranians Eye Improved US Ties in 2014i
X
December 20, 2013
While breakthrough talks on Iran's controversial nuclear program have not gone smoothly, many Iranians appear to be warming to the idea of better ties with the U.S. VOA's Jeff Seldin reports.
TEXT SIZE - +
After years of a sometimes tense and frosty stand-off, Iran and the United States started talking in 2013. And while the talks, centered on Iran's controversial nuclear program, have not exactly been smooth, many Iranians appear to be warming to the idea of better ties with the U.S.
 
It was an announcement that gave rise to hopes that had been dormant for decades: "Just now I spoke on the phone with President Rouhani of the Islamic Republic of Iran," said U.S. President Barack Obama, announcing the late September call that elicited a cautious optimism that was echoed by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who tweeted about the "historic phone conversation."
 
The call came at the end of Rouhani's first trip to the United Nations, when, despite speculation about a "chance" encounter and a possible handshake, the two leaders failed to meet.
 
For three decades, with memories of the Iranian Revolution and Iran hostage crisis etched in the minds of many, such an encounter was unthinkable.
 
But change seemed to start taking hold in June when the support of Iran's leading reformists helped propel Rouhani into the presidency, sparking celebrations, with the president-elect quickly signaling a new tone from Tehran.
 
"There exists an old wound [between the two countries] and it is necessary for it to close in order for it to heal," Rouhani said.
 
But many in the U.S. remained wary, convinced that, despite Iran's denials, Tehran is set on acquiring nuclear weapons.
 
“You can’t sit around and try to speculate are they telling us the truth, are they going to try to do something internationally and all that?" said Senate Armed Service Committee's James Inhofe. "No. They want to kill us.”
 
"We know that deception is part of [Tehran's] DNA," U.S. negotiator Wendy Sherman told members of Congress, sparking outrage in Iran.
 
Still, negotiations moved forward, leading to an interim deal between Iran and the West.
 
But, according to Middle East Analyst Jim Phillips of the Heritage Foundation, a politically conservative Washington-based think tank, getting beyond an interim deal — and fostering better ties between Iran and the U.S. — is anything but certain.
 
“These temporary negotiations help both sides in the short run, but in the long run I’m very pessimistic that a sustainable, acceptable deal can be negotiated with the regime, unless it sees that [a deal] as a necessary step to ensure its very survival," he said.
 
But for those too young to remember the revolution and the hostage crisis, there is still hope.
 
Ali, who asked we hide his identity to protect friends and family in Iran, grew up in Tehran and now studies in the U.S. 
 
“We want to see things normalized so we don’t feel a tension within ourselves, whether things are going to be safe,” he said.
 
A normalization he barely could have dreamed of a year ago that, as remote as it may prove to be, now has a chance.

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

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid