Monday, September 30, 2013
Iran's Smiling Face Earns a Phone Call
Obama and Rouhani Speak by Phone - Peter Baker
U.S. President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani became the first leaders of their countries to speak since 1979 in a 15-minute phone call. A senior administration official said Obama repeated that he respected Iran's right to develop civilian nuclear energy, but insisted on concessions to prevent development of weapons.
By talking on the phone instead of in person, Rouhani avoided a politically problematic photo of himself with Obama, which could have inflamed hard-liners in Iran wary of his outreach to the U.S. "The economic pain now is sufficient to oblige a telephone call, though not a face-to-face meeting," said Reuel Marc Gerecht, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. "We will see whether the pain is sufficient for the Iranians to shut the heavy-water plant at Arak and reverse Iran's path to a rapid breakout capacity with enriched uranium."
(New York Times)