July 13, 2013
NUKES ARE THE LEAST IMPORTANT ISSUE BETWEEN US:
Iran's president eyes direct nuclear talks with 'world sheriff' U.S. (The Associated Press, Jun.26, 2013)
Just a week before Iran's election gatekeepers announced the presidential ballot, Rohani said one-on-one talks with Washington are the only way for breakthroughs in the nuclear standoff, given that the United States - as he put it - is the world's "sheriff."Such a public portrayal of America's importance and the need to make overtures to it undoubtedly rattled a few among Iran's ruling clerics, who decide which candidates are cleared to run. Yet they allowed Rohani to enter the race, and to the surprise of many, he surged to a runaway victory.Rohani's repeated emphasis on direct outreach to Washington may now have a chance for real traction among the ultimate decision-makers in Iran - the ruling clerics and the powerful Revolutionary Guard. They have long opposed unilateral talks, insisting they would do no good. But the lack of major blowback to Rohani's speech in mid-May signaled that the idea is no longer a taboo for the establishment, even if it is not yet entirely convinced. Another sign came from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who in March hinted he would not stand in the way."We have disagreements with the U.S. on regional and international matters, but obviously friendship or hostility with the world is not permanent," Rohani told an audience at Tehran's Sharif University in his May address. "Every country can improve its relations with others."
U.S. to Seek Direct Nuclear Talks With Iran (JAY SOLOMON, 7/12/13, WSJ)
"We are open to direct talks, and we want to reinforce this in any way [we can]," said a senior U.S. official who is set to take part in the Brussels meeting. "We do see words that indicate Iran might be going in a different direction. But we don't know this yet," the official said Friday.
Cut straight to a trade deal, cultural exchanges, co-operation in the Shi'a Crescent, etc. and ignore the nuclear program.Posted by Orrin Judd at July 13, 2013 6:05 AM