Despite the breakthrough, John Kerry is right when he says that the “next phase … will be even more difficult”. The harder part of the P5+1-Iran talks was always going to be reaching a lasting comprehensive solution. The lopsided nature of the interim agreement may have further complicated this process.
There are a few reasons to be optimistic about Iranian president Hassan Rouhani coming to New York. Fresh off a major electoral victory this summer, there is no time like the present for a reformist to meet and greet the Great Satan. Likewise, a face-to-face meeting with a card-carrying member of the Axis of Evil could be a Nixonian moment for President Barack Obama.
The world has changed. International politics is no longer a zero-sum game but a multi-dimensional arena where cooperation and competition often occur simultaneously. Gone is the age of blood feuds. World leaders are expected to lead in turning threats into opportunities, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani writes in The Washington Post.
The White House said it was possible that President Barack Obama would meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in New York next week if Tehran signaled it was serious about giving up its nuclear program. No U.S. President has met an Iranian leader since the overthrow of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi more than 34 years ago.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is not a crazy, irrational, or reckless zealot searching for opportunities for aggression, as this sweeping intellectual profile shows. That means there’s room for the United States and Iran to improve ties — if Washington can convince Khamenei it’s not determined to overthrow the Islamic Republic.
There is a country in the Middle East where a youthful, educated and culturally Westernised population pulses with inventiveness and vitality. Its society is religious, certainly, and harbours a deeply ingrained suspicion of Britain and America, yet it also turns an implacably hostile face towards al-Qaeda’s brand of Sunni radicalism.
Iran’s strategic ambitions are not limited to looking West into the Arab world and the war in Syria. It is also looking East, where it has an active alliance with China and a working relationship with India, but closer to its borders, Iran is working hard to build its influence in Afghanistan.