News / USA

US Official: Obama-Rouhani Meeting 'Too Complicated' for Iran

President Obama walks from the Oval Office of the White House before traveling to the UN General Assembly. Sept. 23, 2013.President Obama walks from the Oval Office of the White House before traveling to the UN General Assembly. Sept. 23, 2013.
x
President Obama walks from the Oval Office of the White House before traveling to the UN General Assembly. Sept. 23, 2013.
President Obama walks from the Oval Office of the White House before traveling to the UN General Assembly. Sept. 23, 2013.
U.S. President Barack Obama and Iran's President Hassan Rouhani did not meet on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly despite conciliatory signals sent by President Rouhani that had increased hopes that he and Obama might find a moment to shake hands in New York.
 
A senior administration official said there was never any plan for a formal bilateral meeting, but the official also said the U.S. did indicate to the Iranian side that a discussion was possible on the margins of the General Assembly "if the opportunity presented itself."
 
The official said the Iranian response indicated that "it was too complicated for them to do that at this time, given their own dynamic back home."
 
Not surprisingly, in their speeches to the General Assembly, neither President Rouhani nor President Obama mentioned anything about this delicate behind-the-scenes back and forth.
 
Rouhani repeated his call for "constructive engagement," and said that nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction have no place in Iran's security and defense doctrine.
 
"Our national interests make it imperative that we remove any and all reasonable concerns about Iran's peaceful nuclear program,” said Rouhani.
 
At the same time, Rouhani said Iran hopes that interactions on Iran's nuclear program refrain from what he called the "short-sighted interests of warmongering." He mentioned in particular the U.S. position that the military option remains on the table if diplomacy fails.
 
In his address to the assembly, President Obama stressed the importance of Iran turning words into actions that are "transparent and verifiable."
 
"While the status quo will only deepen Iran’s isolation, Iran’s genuine commitment to go down a different path will be good for the region and the world," said Obama.
 
The senior U.S. administration official said the real work with Iran will take place in "substantive negotiations," and repeated that Iran's conciliatory signals are due to pressure that sanctions have imposed on its economy.
 
What is important here is the process, the official said, noting that Iran and the P5+1 group of nations will hold talks in New York, although there is no expectation of any agreement to arise from those talks.
 
The official was asked about President Rouhani's criticism of President Obama's pledge not to remove military options from the table.
 
The U.S. remains determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, the official said, but has a preference for diplomacy, adding that the U.S. is not going to change its policy "simply because there is a new leader in Iran."
 
President Obama was not disappointed with the lack of face-to-face contact with President Rouhani, the senior administration official said, who added that Obama had always said he was willing to meet Iran's leadership and tha tit remains important to continue sending the signal that the U.S. is open to negotiations on the Iran nuclear issue.

You May Like

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
September 25, 2013 6:36 AM
I listened to Hassan Rouhani's address at the UN, and contrary to the hype about the moderate cleric truly being moderate at the UN, showed little deviation from his predecessor's nagging approach. Well, he made a short statement, but it was the same old story of trading blames and renouncing the West without calling it by name. He did also not mention Israel by name, but he did refer to "inhuman treatment of Palestinians". In other words he still sees Israel in the light of Iranian denial of the holocaust, and as an occupying force - "a sore thumb that must be cut off", according to Ahmadinejad.

This does not speak well of him even if he did not out rightly deny the holocaust like Ahmadinejad his predecessor. But one important fact that must straightened out is that Israel is not an occupying force as its enemies in the region seek to paint it. When 3000 years ago the Persian (now Iranian) ruler helped return Israel to their land to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, did he make that move for Israel to go rebuild a foreign temple, in a foreign land, or did Israel's bona fide capital then turn out to be another country's capital somehow? When did Israel give up its capital and how did it become Palestinian land? These are nagging questions and until an answer is provided to clear this doubt, peace will continue to elude the region, whether or not Iran develops a nuclear weapons program.

Rouhani and the need to mend fences with Iran has become a new obsession in USA, proves perhaps that USA needs Iran more than Iran needs her. And why not if the president of the US is a double-speak person, someone whose words are not to be believed, someone who trips over his red line, and above all, someone who denies his own statement in other to wriggle out of created situation that had Russia decided to stand aloof, would have allowed the roof collapse over his head. This calamity resulted from somebody's ineptitude.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid