September 18, 2013
TRUST, BUT VERIFY:
Obama wants to 'test' Iranian willingness for dialogue (TIMES OF ISRAEL, September 18, 2013)
Posted by Orrin Judd at September 18, 2013 4:32 AMOn Tuesday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that Iran is not opposed to dialogue with the West concerning its nuclear program and will show flexibility in negotiations.A day earlier, German news magazine Der Spiegel reported that Rouhani was prepared to shut down Iran's uranium enrichment facility at Fordo in exchange for eased Western sanctions.Obama said the US is interested "in resolving this nuclear issue in a way that would allow Iran to rejoin the international community" but Iran will have to prove to the world "that it's not trying to weaponize nuclear power."On Sunday, Obama revealed that he had exchanged letters with the recently elected Iranian president, a fact confirmed by Tehran on Tuesday.The two leaders will both attend next week's United Nations General Assembly in New York, with Obama expected to address the plenum on Tuesday morning, and Rouhani speaking on Tuesday afternoon. Officials says no meeting has been scheduled between them, although White House press secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday that he doubted Obama would "duck into another hall" to avoid the Iranian president should they encounter each other in the halls of the UN.On Monday, Iran's nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, said the chances for a breakthrough have improved thanks to unity among the new Iranian leadership over what it will seek in the next round of negotiations.
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