The UN General Assembly meetings this week offer President Obama a chance to capitalize on recent diplomatic developments with Syria and to extend a hand to new Iranian president Hassan Rouhani in the hopes of launching renewed negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program. In an op-ed in the Washington Post last week, Rouhani urged other leaders “to respond genuinely to my government’s efforts to engage in constructive dialogue.” It is critical for Obama to show that his administration is willing to answer Iranian concessions with some relief of sanctions that Rouhani can bring to the Iranian people.
Iran is Ready for Talks
A prominent adviser to the Iranian leadership, Amir Mohebbian, explains that Iran’s leaders see the next six months represent the best opportunity to reach an agreement, before campaigning for parliamentary elections begins in March. This is a window the US cannot afford to miss. It is time for the US to offer a reasonable deal that would signal to the Iranian people that the West is willing to work towards a larger agreement. Read more
How could Israelis love Iranians? This compelling video points a simple truth: how can you hate someone you don't know? Could this be a game changer?
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In Iran on Thursday, a nuclear scientist from Iran who had initially defected in 2009 to the US, returned home. The CIA allegedly kidnapped Shahram Amiri, if you ask him. U.S. officials say he defected on his own free will and apparently got homesick. Some speculate that Amiri has been an agent controlled by the Iranian government all along. Read more
by Brian Sonenstein
Lee Camp's "Moment of Clarity
" videos are funny-but-true assessments of current trends in media and politics that never cease to make you think. This week's piece, "The U.S. Killing Protesters in Iran," is the perfect example. You can watch it here
. Read more
Iranians from both sides of the presidential divide have taken to the streets on a 4th day of protest. Supporters of the defeated Mir Hossain Mousavi were urged not to march "to protect thier lives", but still gathered on mass.
Tens of thousands of opposition and pro-government demonstrators have held rallies in the Iranian capital, raising fears of possible clashes. Thousands of people gathered at a government-organised rally in Tehran's central Vali Asr square on Tuesday, while a similar-sized demonstration was held by opposition supporters in the city's north. Read more