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A New Era for Iran?
August 4, 2013 9:42 AM   Subscribe

Iran has a new president, Hasan Rouhani, does that mean there might be hope for a thawing in diplomatic relations? In his inaugral speech Roughani urges an end to sanctions and promises a new era. While the White House response seems cautiously optimisitic US Senators have been pressing for tougher sanctions.
posted by Artw (56 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
He also said, "Israel is a 'wound inflicted' on the Muslim world that 'must be cleansed'" and then later claimed he had been misquoted.

The President of Iran doesn't matter. Because of the way their government is organized, the Ayatollah is effectively a dictator and there's no reason to believe that his opinions have changed in any way.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:51 AM on August 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


Meanwhile, Iran unveils their fancy new finger amputating machine.
posted by tschichold at 10:01 AM on August 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


An Iran that suddenly likes Israel is asking for a bit much - I'd settle for less crazy nuclear moves and abducting people as "spies" and similar crazy brinkmanship.
posted by Artw at 10:04 AM on August 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Of course there's always the argument that having a bomb to match Israel's would make them less crazy.
posted by Artw at 10:09 AM on August 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


From the BBC report: "He promised to advance women's rights and freedoms and to reduce the government's interference in people's lives."

Here's hoping.
posted by arcticseal at 10:13 AM on August 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I always live in hope for Iran, despite knowing that it's a theocratic dictatorship. Mostly because every Iranian I've met is as confused as to why they have this form of government as I am. But partly because thawing relations with Iran would mean the US could get Akbari pistachios, and the dirt-flavoured California pistachio would fall into deserving desuetude.
posted by scruss at 10:17 AM on August 4, 2013 [13 favorites]


He also said, "Israel is a 'wound inflicted' on the Muslim world that 'must be cleansed'" and then later claimed he had been misquoted.

So, um, did he say it, or was he indeed misquoted? The fact that your source for the former is Michelle Malkin's blog makes the latter seem quite likely.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:19 AM on August 4, 2013 [9 favorites]


I seriously doubt we'll see any major changes. Previously when moderate Presidents have tried to introduce reforms, they have been opposed by and ultimately rendered powerless by Khamenei.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 10:21 AM on August 4, 2013


Mostly because every Iranian I've met is as confused as to why they have this form of government as I am.

It's the old story of a revolution against an awful goverment purging itself down to its most awful elements.
posted by Artw at 10:29 AM on August 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


So, um, did he say it, or was he indeed misquoted?

According to this article, he said:

In our region there's been a wound for years on the body of the Muslim world under the shadow of the occupation of the holy land of Palestine and the beloved al-Qods (Jerusalem).
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 10:32 AM on August 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


Isn't Sky news is under the Fox/Murdoch umbrella? I'd like a translation or account from someone who is not part of the "Bomb, Bomb Iran" chorus-line. I mean, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised, but it pays to be skeptical.
posted by absalom at 10:45 AM on August 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


So as usual, the translation is inaccurate but the interpretation is pretty much sound.

I've heard some people calling this new President a "moderate," but taken in context that means very very little. If your predecessor is calling for murder and you're only calling for a severe beating resulting in a few major bones being broken, yes it's "better" but it's not really a new position. And yeah, every Iranian I meet abroad is super friendly, doesn't care in the least that their country is supposedly at war with 2/3 of my countries, etc. They deserve a better system of government and it's a huge thorn that it's the USA's fault that they don't have one.

I note with some dismay that Elizabeth Warren signed on to that atrocious letter. In what way does it make sense to inflict sanctions on Iran when they elect the "wrong" President and even harsher sanctions when they elect the "right" one?
posted by 1adam12 at 10:45 AM on August 4, 2013


Because it's useful to have a bogeyman that's powerful enough to cause trouble but not so powerful they'd actually be able to stand up to us, e.g. China does some pretty awful things to its people but if we started shit with them, our economy would suffer.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 10:48 AM on August 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Pat Buchanan: The crown jewel of Obama’s second term.
Obama can, however, defeat the War Party coalition. He should congratulate Rouhani on his inauguration, declare his readiness for direct talks with Tehran, and appoint as negotiators national security hawks who want no war with Iran, but no Iranian atom bomb either.
History beckons. Obama should seize the moment.

posted by 445supermag at 11:09 AM on August 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


Pat Buchanan actually makes some sense.

I can't believe I just wrote that.
posted by Renoroc at 11:15 AM on August 4, 2013 [7 favorites]


Pat Buchanan actually makes some sense.

I remember being struck by it that he'd done that on one other occasion, but now I can't remember what it was.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 11:36 AM on August 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


From that same OpEd:

Obama’s second-term scandals – IRS, Benghazi, wiretapping The Associated Press and Fox – are in the low-kiloton range compared to the resignation of Nixon or the impeachment of Clinton.

Actually, every single one of those has more scandal kilotons than fucking Monicagate.
posted by absalom at 11:43 AM on August 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


IRS and Benghazi certainly rate around a zero.
posted by Artw at 12:09 PM on August 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


Fair Enough: How about "equal to or greater than Monicagate."
posted by absalom at 12:20 PM on August 4, 2013


That sentence really puzzled me, is he trying to say that Obama's scandals are small? If so, "kiloton" is strange adjective for small. That said, it is interesting that all two term presidents after Eisenhower have had scandals that the opposition considers impeachable (I'm assuming that some people were calling for Reagan's impeachment over Iran-contra).
posted by 445supermag at 12:27 PM on August 4, 2013


I think it's basically just boilerplate for his audience and to be ignored.
posted by Artw at 12:30 PM on August 4, 2013


Fair Enough: How about "equal to or greater than Monicagate."

How about not even? The IRS scandal is, as many predicted, not even a scandal. They targeted groups across the entire spectrum, which means they were doing their job (even though for the crazies that is a scandal unto itself).
posted by zombieflanders at 12:36 PM on August 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


The President of Iran doesn't matter. Because of the way their government is organized, the Ayatollah is effectively a dictator and there's no reason to believe that his opinions have changed in any way.

I neither think this is true, nor a helpful thing to say. The theocratic government of Iran is complex (you can google a variety of charts), but while the Supreme Leader is in many ways the last word politically, he doesn't have dictatorial powers and doesn't, for example, write laws. You may think of the President as exercising limited constitutional powers in a multi-pronged system, but the same thing may be said of the U.S. President. I think it's pretty clear that the President does wield significant influence on foreign policy and sets the tone for diplomatic relations, while the Supreme Leader is more concerned with deeper questions of the national interest.

I remember being struck by it that he'd done that on one other occasion, but now I can't remember what it was.

Pat Buchanan is an isolationist Republican. He always says things like this about foreign policy; it's all the social conservative domestic policy on which he remains batshit crazy.
posted by dhartung at 1:28 PM on August 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


is in many ways the last word politically, he doesn't have dictatorial powers and doesn't, for example, write laws
Wait, you're talking about the guy who has his own secret police force with no oversight and impunity to unilaterally declare people guilty of religious offenses also without oversight? Right.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 3:36 PM on August 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Benghazi thing is heating up:
CIA 'running arms smuggling team in Benghazi when consulate was attacked'
The CIA has been subjecting operatives to monthly polygraph tests in an attempt to suppress details of a US arms smuggling operation in Benghazi that was ongoing when its ambassador was killed by a mob in the city last year, according to reports.
It's kind of weird, because I think basically everyone was actually in favor of sending arms to Syrian rebels at that point.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:06 PM on August 4, 2013


From the BBC report: "He promised to advance women's rights and freedoms and to reduce the government's interference in people's lives."

This sounds like a direct appeal to young voters, in a country with a very young population. There's a lot of reasons to imagine Iranian voters, growing up post-revolutionary, might be growing tired of isolation and intractability. But as far as the theocracy goes, I can't begin to imagine which way the wind will blow.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:33 PM on August 4, 2013


I can't believe I just wrote that.
Buchanan vocally opposes those neoconservatives whom he calls "undocumented aliens from the Left, carrying with them the viruses of statism and globalism." He describes their first generation as people who began as "Trotskyist, socialists or Social Democrat," then became "JFK-LBJ Democrats," but broke with the Left during the Vietnam War and "came into their own" during Reagan's administration. He said he welcomed neoconservatives during the early 1970s, but that it has become an inquisition, "hurling anathemas at any who decline to embrace their revised dogmas." Buchanan compares "Neocons" to squatters who take over a once-beloved home (the Republican Party) and convert it into a crack house
Once again, our problem is not conservatism. It's all of these crazy fundamentalist lunatics that call themselves "neoconservatives." and their new militarized wing called "The Tea Party." They are being trained to hate the very idea of taxation, so they are practically anarchists who want it to be a law that a person should go to church on Sundays, and they still want to have a massively expensive military protecting us from "evil." They are delusional.

Pat Buchanan has a few things I disagree with, but he is at least not delusional. I think it would be a good idea to start reaching out to moderate republicans at a grass roots level. I think the majority of the country actually wants the same things.
posted by deanklear at 5:03 PM on August 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Benghazi thing is heating up

Eh. For one, it's not part of "the Benghazi thing" (i.e., cover-up of either knowledge beforehand or response to the attacks) at all. It's a completely different agency doing something unrelated to the attacks. It would be like claiming the IRS thing is heating up because, say, someone found evidence of Medicare fraud. And second, it's coming from the usual right-wing loonies. Frank Wolf, for instance, lurves him the PATRIOT Act something fierce, and would love to bomb anywhere brown people don't worship a Christian god. And since the GOP is currently getting marching orders from the donor class to hype up Benghazi and the IRS, I'm taking this one with a ginormous grain of salt. Darrell Issa is like 0 for 10 at this point with scandals, and in a sane world would have been booted from his High Inquisitor position months ago.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:27 PM on August 4, 2013 [3 favorites]




Iran: enter a pragmatist
posted by Artw at 7:22 PM on August 4, 2013


I still worry about hoder.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 7:48 PM on August 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


Pat Buchanan has a few things I disagree with, but he is at least not delusional. I think it would be a good idea to start reaching out to moderate republicans at a grass roots level. I think the majority of the country actually wants the same things.

Pat Buchanan is not a moderate conservative. "Reaching out" to him is reaching out to a host of other poisonous ideas, regardless of where he is on foreign policy.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:04 PM on August 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


In case some here may not already know, hoder is one of Mefi's own.
posted by skoosh at 8:52 PM on August 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Pat Buchanan is not a moderate conservative.

Quite. See how he described Neocons as leftists? Pat Buchanan can say that and mean it, because he's essentially a Neonazi.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:14 PM on August 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


All the Iranians I have ever met have been out the fuck of Iran. I think this likely means nothing. Theocracies gonna theocratize...
posted by Windopaene at 10:35 PM on August 4, 2013


TheNewWazoo, The Chocolate Pickle stated "the President doesn't matter". I believe that is categorically false. The President of Iran may not have the autonomy enjoyed by heads of government in most Western countries, but it's pretty clear the position is not merely that of a lapdog subordinate to a "dictator". Whether he represents the "true" aspirations of the Iranian people or not, or just the "true" aspirations of the Supreme Governing Council, or the Supreme Leader himself, the President appears to have the leeway to present a new tack in negotiations and offer olive branches both domestically and internationally.

Obviously the history of post-revolutionary Iran has involved a lot of tacking between hardline and moderate/reform directions, most of it a question of what the Supreme Leader and/or his coterie of confidantes view as the better direction at the time. But reading this as a dictatorship is a misunderstanding of the dynamic at work and probably misleading to any form of serious analysis.

Iran's structure of governance is quite unlike almost anything else in the modern world. It has elements of both a robust democracy, a theocracy that has overtones of both a constitutional and absolute monarchy, a militarized junta, and even in some ways resembles Maoist states. It's complex, it's weird, and it shouldn't be oversimplified.

When we're talking about what Iran wants, or what the Supreme Leader wants, it's really more about what the national interest (realpolitik) of Iran is. Clearly they have a serious rational interest in developing a nuclear deterrent (whether or not they could also gain from other approaches). This also clearly creates a potentially destabilizing military threat for the region. It's not really even just about personalities, then. They must do X, we cannot let them achieve X, thus the intractability does not come simply from some dictator's whim. This is why I object to describing it merely as a dictatorship, because the Saddam Hussein model really doesn't apply even to the extent that both countries had rational national interests opposed to the US. Somehow, we'll have to address this realpolitik if we hope to have any success in the disarmament talks.

None of this is to say that the Iranian government, either, is fully representative of its people. But the Iranians who are abroad are the educated elites, and the government retains great support among the rural and more religious poor. The main hope for as long as I can remember is the youthful demographic tilt of Iran, but many young people do seem to leave if they can, a safety valve that ensures the government's continued dominance.
posted by dhartung at 1:54 AM on August 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


Clearly they have a serious rational interest in developing a nuclear deterrent

Bogus claim. There is no evidence that Iran is pursuing development of nuclear weapons. There has never been any evidence that Iran is pursuing development of nuclear weapons. Intelligence agencies in Israel and the US refuse to claim that Iran is pursuing development of nuclear weapons. But politicians in Israel and the US continue to assert that Iran is pursuing development of nuclear weapons.
posted by fredludd at 2:23 AM on August 5, 2013


I'm sorry, that's just nonsense. Here are the IAEA's reports on Iran. You might read all of them, but here's an excerpt from the May 27, 2013 report titled "Possible Military Dimensions":
Previous reports by the Director General have identified outstanding issues related to possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme and actions required of Iran to resolve these. Since 2002, the Agency has become increasingly concerned about the possible existence in Iran of undisclosed nuclear related activities involving military related organizations, including activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile. Iran has dismissed the Agency’s concerns, largely on the grounds that Iran considers them to be based on unfounded allegations.

The Annex to the Director General’s November 2011 report (GOV/2011/65) provided a detailed analysis of the information available to the Agency, indicating that Iran has carried out activities that are relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device. This information is assessed by the Agency to be, overall, credible.
If you follow that link to the November 2011 report you will find a great deal of evidence that indicates Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program. I don't think anyone seriously doubts that this is the case, but if Iran wanted to prove them wrong, it could do so by letting IAEA inspectors perform their tasks.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:22 AM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Isn't Sky news is under the Fox/Murdoch umbrella? I'd like a translation or account from someone who is not part of the "Bomb, Bomb Iran" chorus-line. I mean, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised, but it pays to be skeptical.

I have to agree with this. Accurately translating languages is hard; and Persian is an interesting language. It's very easy to come to some very wrong conclusions depending on the biases of the translator.
posted by gjc at 3:39 AM on August 5, 2013


you will find a great deal of evidence that indicates Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program

That's a silly claim. The report provides no such evidence.
posted by fredludd at 4:50 AM on August 5, 2013


Good lord man, I'm looking at the thing right now. The Annex to the Director General’s November 2011 report (GOV/2011/65). And I reiterate: this is the IAEA. It is the body charged with international regulation and control of nuclear energy. And it is their opinion that Iran is developing a nuclear device.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:12 AM on August 5, 2013


It actually is pretty well accepted amongst Western Intelligence agencies that Iran, Pakistan and North Korea really do actually share data on the development of nuclear weapons and that Iran really would love to have the international bargaining chip that is a nuclear device. One of the biggest disasters of the post-9/11 "Axis of Evil" speech was that this core aspect of the presentation was actually true. The Iraq WMD stuff has poisoned the rest of the intel, regardless of it's basis in truth. Rumours are that Iran helped finance NK's nuclear weapons development to put the pressure elsewhere until they can successfully develop and build a device within their own borders.

I am not sure where your skepticism originates but it's certainly not that big a secret that this is taking place. Western Intelligence services are not exactly shouting it from the rooftops but they also don't make out like that isn't happening. Israeli intelligence and the military (with US intel support) are very much actively planning airstrikes on future fissile material processing facilities in case diplomacy is not successful.
posted by longbaugh at 6:45 AM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I, too, am looking at GOV/2011/65, and under "C. Nuclear Explosive Development Indicators" I read several paragraphs introduced with phrases like "The Agency has information from a Member State" and "The Agency has information provided by a Member State" Let me repeat: these are assertions. They are nothing like proof.

If Iran wanted to develop nuclear weapons they could simply withdraw from the NPT, as North Korea did. That they have not withdrawn from the NPT possibly indicates that they are taking seriously Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei's fatwa declaring the pursuit and possession of nuclear weapons a grave sin.
posted by fredludd at 7:02 AM on August 5, 2013



If Iran wanted to develop nuclear weapons they could simply withdraw from the NPT, as North Korea did. That they have not withdrawn from the NPT possibly indicates that they are taking seriously Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei's fatwa declaring the pursuit and possession of nuclear weapons a grave sin.


My understanding is that the NPT can be interpreted as allowing all activity towards the acquisition of a nuclear weapon except the (undetectable) final assembly. Thus a country can take every step but the last and then withdraw at the last moment, like North Korea did.
posted by Comrade_robot at 7:07 AM on August 5, 2013


fredludd - Where the IAEA states "The Agency has information from a Member State" and "The Agency has information provided by a Member State" do you not think that this involves actually providing the IAEA with actual proof? Once bitten, twice shy I understand but it's worth remembering that *nobody* actually has any reason to provide you personally with sufficient proof since you are uninvolved in the process of verifying whether Iran is working to develop nuclear arms.

In this case you must make a value judgement based on the publicly available information. From my reading around the subject I have no doubt in my mind that this is something Iran is working towards. I appreciate that you may disagree but if you won't take the word of the IAEA then other than physically visiting the site you're probably not going to get the proof you desire.

Comrade_robot has the gist of it above. Leaving the NPT marks you as a pariah - better to have the bargaining chip ready for final assembly before you take that final step.
posted by longbaugh at 7:24 AM on August 5, 2013


Care must be taken to avoid pushing Rohani into a corner
After years of stalemate, Mr Rohani's election provides grounds for optimism. Final decisions on the nuclear file remain with Ali Khamenei, the hardline supreme leader. And descriptions of Mr Rohani as a "moderate" are sometimes misjudged. He is a regime insider. But Mr Rohani was elected with a mandate to promote centrist policies. He knows it is essential for Iran to be rid of economic sanctions...

The west must avoid giving ammunition to the many Iranian hardliners and apparatchiks who seek to undermine the new president to keep the country on a resolutely anti-western, nuclear path. This is the time for the US to engage in creative diplomacy with Iran, diplomacy which has three key elements.

First, the US must resist adding more economic sanctions to those in existence. The current sanctions regime is effective enough to be forcing a serious policy rethink in Iran. Legislation currently before Congress would go even further, however, and impose a blanket oil embargo at the start of next year. This must be averted.

Second, the US and its allies should reconsider their current offer to Iran. In the past 12 months, the US has tried to get Tehran to sign up to an early confidence-building deal. This would see Iran shut down its second enrichment site at Fordow; stop production of highly enriched uranium; and ship existing stockpiles of highly enriched uranium out of the country. In return, the US and its allies are offering Iran a modest peeling back of existing sanctions.

The west should revise its approach and ask "more for more". It should extend its demands to require that Iran freeze its centrifuge installation and allow intrusive inspections of its nuclear programme. In return, it should offer a much more substantial reversal of the banking and energy sanctions in place. It should also nod to the idea that Iran will end this entire negotiation with some limited right to enrich uranium.

Third, it is time for the US and Iran to forge a direct bilateral relationship. Thus far Iran has been negotiating with a forum of six world powers including China and Russia. The time is ripe for direct diplomatic contact between Washington and Tehran. The US should use such an opportunity to sound out Iran on regional security – notably in relation to Syria. But a deal on the nuclear file should not be dependent on progress here...
Iran Seen Trying New Path to Bomb: "Iran could begin producing weapons-grade plutonium by next summer, Western officials believe, using a different technology that would be easier for foreign countries to attack."

Rohani Taps U.S.-Educated Minister to End Iran Sanctions - "Hassan Rohani's appointment of Mohammad Javad Zarif as his foreign minister suggests the new Iranian president would like to break the 34-year impasse between the Islamic Republic and the U.S. Zarif, 53, a fluent English speaker who earned his doctorate at the University of Denver, is a former ambassador to the United Nations who has been involved in several secret negotiations between the U.S. and Iran over the past 20 years..."
posted by kliuless at 3:19 PM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Iranian political prisoners' plea to Barack Obama.
More than 50 prominent political prisoners reach out to US president, asking him to seize 'last chance' for detente.
posted by adamvasco at 7:39 AM on August 8, 2013


Hmm. That seems almost guaranteed not to get a result.
posted by Artw at 9:12 AM on August 8, 2013


It's a pretty bizarre instinct to be confronted with a new political leader and decide not to take the opportunity to engage in new, long-needed dialogue, but instead immediately alienate and demonize him.

I mean, seriously, what the fuck is that shit.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:33 AM on August 8, 2013


Yes, well. Here's a counterpoint to a similar argument made by the UK's shadow Foreign Secretary, Douglas Alexander:

A nice "moderate" start?
Labour’s shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander, said the decision by Britain to decline the invitation to attend the inauguration ceremony of the new president of the Islamic Republic was “ill-judged and short sighted”.

It would be good to know what Douglas Alexander would have expected the UK representative to do when the rest of the invitees to the inauguration ceremony were asked to chant “Death to those who oppose the Supreme Leader, Death to America, Death to England, Death to Israel” as seen in this clip from yesterday's inauguration ceremony?
Rowhani is only a "new political leader" by courtesy: he was one of a few carefully-vetted candidates that were handpicked for their ideological suitability to the existing regime. In any event, we don't need to pretend that the current government lacks continuity with the previous one: we are negotiating with a country, not the individuals that presently occupy a shiny office. If we are to meaningfully "engage in dialogue" (and I agree that we should) it must be on the basis that Iran is responsible for its past actions, just as it will be responsible for any future deals that we can make with it.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:48 PM on August 8, 2013






Labour’s shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander, said the decision by Britain to decline the invitation to attend the inauguration ceremony of the new president of the Islamic Republic was “ill-judged and short sighted”.

It would be good to know what Douglas Alexander would have expected the UK representative to do when the rest of the invitees to the inauguration ceremony were asked to chant “Death to those who oppose the Supreme Leader, Death to America, Death to England, Death to Israel” as seen in this clip from yesterday's inauguration ceremony?


Um, but they did that (if indeed they did do that; I don't speak Farsi and am not about to take some random YouTuber's word for it) after those nations declined the invitation.

Which is to say that it seems like a perfectly natural reaction for Iran to say, "Oh, you're still going to treat us like shit? Well, in that case, you can go fuck yourselves." Not to mention the fact that, thanks to those countries, Iran is now the meat in a chaos sandwich. Chanting "Death to America" is a far cry from actually bringing death to Iraq and Afghanistan.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:58 AM on August 28, 2013


Or they we're pretty much always were going to be playing the same game of silly buggers and "let's be reasonable except for that one thing you really care about with the nuke program" was just a ploy.
posted by Artw at 10:21 AM on August 28, 2013


Syria Strike Could Dash Hopes on Iran - "A U.S. attack on Syria would likely dash expectations of progress in nuclear talks with Iran."

Doing nothing is not the only alternative to intervention - "Terrible though chemical weapons are, nuclear weapons are a great deal more so. Currently at issue is Iran's nuclear programme and the future of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. With the election of President Hassan Rouhani, we have a better opportunity than ever of an agreement with safeguards that Iran will not make nuclear weapons, a result that would strengthen the NPT regime. This opportunity should not be missed."

Iran strikes moderate tone over Syria conflict - "Iran has adopted an uncharacteristically cautious approach to unfolding events in Syria, striking a balance by both condemning the reported use of chemical weapons in Damascus, while warning against military action by western forces. Analysts see the Syrian crisis as an early test for the centrist government of Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, who has vowed to put the country back on a more moderate track and is flexing his muscle to regain influence in certain fields of foreign policy."

Iran expands nuclear capacity, delays sensitive reactor - "The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Iran informed it a few days ago that the planned commissioning of the Arak research reactor - which could yield potential bomb material - had been delayed from early next year."
posted by kliuless at 6:26 AM on August 29, 2013




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