Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Can Rouhani engage with the US?

Nico Minde
New Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was sworn in early this month. He takes over from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who according to many analysts took the already sour relations with the US to the abyss. Dr. Rouhani is a moderate cleric who is seen by many as a person who could try and engage with the US on issues central to Iran's nuclear agenda. Al Monitor offers an analysis on the same here. The era of Ahmadinejad was filled with fiery rhetoric and Iran positioned itself for increased sanctions from the West. Iran became isolated and its economy hit the doldrums. In his swearing in ceremony, Rouhani called for a "language of respect" when negotiating with Iran and not through sanctions. "If you seek a suitable answer, speak to Iran through the language of respect, not through the language of sanctions," the president said. The president also hinted that Iran will seek to engage with the US. He further said that Iranian nuclear program was a peaceful one and one that is geared towards generating electricity and sustainable energy. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking on CBS News before Rouhani took oath, he said that Iran is getting closer to the red line he illustrated during the UN summit in New York last September. The two sides continue to be antagonistic towards each other which could jeopardize the negotiations and talks. However, the indications by the new President saying he is willing to engage with the US is welcoming. Iran should however be wary of American scheming and not fall into their marauding antics. Before his elections Rouhani said that the West needs to be genuine if they were to negotiate over Iran nuclear issue. As a former chief nuclear negotiator, President Rouhani understands this very well.

No comments:

Post a Comment