September 23, 2013
REDEEMING A WASTED DECADE:
This time, the west must not turn its back on diplomacy : President Rouhani's UN speech can reignite the diplomacy that over a decade ago I saw was the only path to a better world (Mohammad Khatami, 9/23/13, The Guardian)
Posted by Orrin Judd at September 23, 2013 7:24 PMPresident Rouhani's government was elected by a society seeking positive change, at a time when Iran and the wider region was desperately in need of prudence and hope. This vote was not limited to a specific political camp; as well as many reformers, many political prisoners and a significant body of conservatives had a share in Rouhani's victory. For the first time there is an opportunity to create a national consensus above and beyond partisan factionalism - one that may address the political predicaments of the country, with an emphasis on dialogue and mutual understanding globally.Explicit public support from the supreme leader of the Islamic republic provides Rouhani and his colleagues with the necessary authority for a diplomatic resolution of a number of foreign policy issues with the west, not just the nuclear issue.A peace-seeking Iran can contribute as a willing partner not only to solving its own differences with the global powers, but also to overcoming some of the region's chronic political disputes. But it requires a degree of courage and optimism from the west to listen to the voices of the Iranian people who have been painfully targeted by unjust sanctions, which have threatened the very fabric of civil society and democratic infrastructures.Failure now to create an atmosphere of trust and meaningful dialogue will only boost extremist forces on all sides. The consequences of such a failure will be not only regional, but global. For a better world - for the Iranian people and the next generation across the globe - I earnestly hope that Rouhani will receive a warm and meaningful response at the United Nations.Iran today is different from the Iran of years ago, and the consequences of the Islamic revolution are still playing out.