Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Iran's Charm Offensive to UN, Agrees to Nuclear Talks
- David Brunnstrom and Arshad Mohammed
Iran's new government took its diplomatic charm offensive to the UN on Monday and agreed to new talks this week on its nuclear program with top diplomats from six world powers, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. U.S. officials have also said a meeting is possible this week between President Barack Obama and Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani. Obama and Rouhani will both address the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.
Playing by Iran's Rules - James Jay Carafano
Hassan Rouhani has one mission: to get the Europeans to back off sanctions while preserving Iran's option to go nuclear whenever it wants. The way to do that will be to 1) appear less threatening to the West, 2) offer to help the U.S. on some thorny geo-political problems, and 3) slow-walk Tehran's weapons programs while the regime perfects its long-range missiles.
So the deal looks like this. Iran helps perpetuate the Administration's face-saving fiction in Syria and its rush to the zero-option in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Tehran says less threatening things about Israel and goes slow on its nuclear program. For our part, the White House slow rolls sanctions and ignores European countries as they quietly ease their sanctions on Iran.
Meanwhile, the entire region will remain clouded by the shadow of the danger of a Tehran-triggered nuclear war.
Charm Offensive? Hostile Iranian Messages on the Eve of Rouhani's UN Visit
Iranian President Rouhani attended a military parade in Tehran on Sept. 22, 2013, where he reviewed the forces and spoke.
Among the messages featured during the parade, in Persian and Arabic the Iranians wrote, "Death to America," while in English they wrote, "Down with America."
The parade included a line of missile transports carrying Shahab-3 missiles, which have a 1,300-km. range that can reach both Israel and American bases in the Persian Gulf. On the lead vehicle appeared a banner that reads: "Israel Should Cease to Exist."
Iran's apologists will say that the sentence is in the passive voice, so it is not clear how it ceases to exist. But the very fact that the Iranians attach a sign of this sort to a vehicle carrying Shahab-3 missiles means that Tehran itself is juxtaposing its intention to destroy Israel with the military means to carry it out.
Reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency last year contained information that Iran was seeking to remove the conventional warhead from a Shahab-3 missile and replace it with a spherical nuclear device.
(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
Rouhani Snubs US: Declines to Meet Obama - Jennifer Epstein
President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani did not meet at the UN on Tuesday, senior administration officials said. The White House had offered to have "an encounter" between the two leaders on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, but Iranian officials ultimately declined. U.S. and Iranian officials had been discussing the possibility of an Obama-Rouhani meeting for days, an official said. Ultimately, though, "it was clear that it was too complicated for them."