Iran and the United States finally reached an agreement regarding Iran’s nuclear program, but it seems this time the devil is in the details.
Over the weekend, the U.S., its allies, and Iran managed to work out a deal in which some of the international sanctions Iran has been experiencing will be lifted in exchange for certain reductions in Iran’s nuclear development. This is a six-month agreement that the Obama administration hopes will lead to a more permanent solution after further talks take place. I know what you’re thinking: “What an amazing diplomatic breakthrough!” Well…
“Last night is not a historic agreement – it’s a historic mistake. It’s not made the world a safer place…This agreement has made the world a much more dangerous place,” argued Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Ok, so we’ll put him down as “still on the fence”: not surprising, since Netanyahu has never gotten along that well with President Obama. He probably is just upset that Barack (the U.S. president, not Netanyahu’s Israeli political rival, Ehud Barak) is going to get all the glory for this one, right? Continue reading
Official Iranian government photo of President Hassan Rouhani
Word on the street is that the White House is trying to decide whether or not to arrange a brief meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of this week’s annual parade of world leaders at the UN General Assembly. Such a tête-à-tête is common at large international gatherings, but not when the two countries in question are Iran and the United States. When it comes to this bilateral relationship, a simple handshake would be enough to grab headlines around the world.
American politicians have avoided shaking hands with their Iranian counterparts since 1979, not out of some odd “germophobic” impulse, but due to the official severing of diplomatic relations. This break technically occurred in 1980, although the situation had taken an immediate turn for the worse with the 1979 Iranian Revolution and hostage taking at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. In the more than thirty years since that point, politicians in both countries have come and gone, but none have been able to satisfy the demands of the other side, and the icy relations have continued. Continue reading