President Hassan Rouhani of Iran and President Obama are both set to speak at the United Nations General Assembly today, and the world is wondering if a chance meeting could lead to a new chapter is US-Iran relations.
As reported by The Inquisitr, Iran has previously stated they will never develop nuclear weapons, but tension recently arose between the US and Iran when Iran threatened attack if the US strikes Syria.
Speculation abounds in the latest Iran news about whether or not the president’s will run into each other and if such a casual meeting could lead to a relationship between the two countries unseen in decades. The White House said Monday there was no official meeting scheduled with Iran, but today Obama announced that he’s given the go-ahead to Secretary of State John Kerry to schedule talks with Iran in regards to its nuclear program.
Despite the unease over the Middle East situation and the continued push for strong sanctions, Obama continues to hope for a more moderate solution with Iran, telling the General Assembly:
The roadblocks may prove to be too great, but I firmly believe the diplomatic path must be tested
However, many lawmakers remain suspicious and are putting the pressure on Obama to sanction Iran further in efforts to deter the development of nuclear weapons. They are concerned that any deals with Iran may allow them to maintain their weapons program and access to nuclear fuel.
Senator Marco Rubio, Rep-FL. and several others, wrote in a letter to Obama: “Iran must not be allowed to retain any enrichment or reprocessing capabilities, now is the time to increase pressure on Iran and to stand with the Iranian people, not pursue diplomatic half-measures that will allow their rulers to continue to delay and obfuscate and avoid real reforms.”
The much fretted over handshake would purportedly “reward” President Rouhani and heighten expectations for diplomacy. Such expectations may or may not be warranted in light of the U.S.’s bumpy history with the Middle East and continued talk of sanctions, but could pave they way for more equal engagement.
Such casual meetings have been attempted before with leaders or higher-level officials of historically “US unfriendly” countries but have often fallen short of their goal. This time, however, the leaders have already exchanged letters and both have hinted they are ready for serious dialogue, and possibly even…a handshake. More importantly, the latest Iran news suggests that they are now more open to conciliatory talks with the US.
Secretary Kerry is to meet with his Iranian counterpart Thursday in attempts to engage Iran in a meaningful way, and the meeting signals the highest level talks between the two countries since 2007.
What do you think of the latest Iran news of a handshake between the presidents?