March 25, 2015

RECALL...:

A New Year in Iran? (ROBIN WRIGHT, 3/24/15, The New Yorker)

By now, Secretary of State John Kerry has almost certainly spent more time with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, than with any other foreign minister in the world. Unofficial relations between the two countries seem closer today than they have been at any time since the 1979 takeover of the American Embassy in Tehran. The two sides met again several times this week in Lausanne, in an effort to address final sticking points. "We made a lot of progress," Kerry told reporters there. The talks have now been suspended because of the New Year's holiday, and will resume next Wednesday for a final two-day push.

The tenor of the negotiators' personal relationships was evident earlier today, after news reports announced the death of Sakineh Peivandi. She is the mother of the Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, and of his brother Hossein Fereydoun, who is one of the negotiators. Kerry and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, a nuclear physicist who recently joined the American negotiating team, paid a condolence call on Fereydoun in Lausanne. In a press statement, Kerry said, "We share in their grief . . . and we keep their family in our thoughts."

An Iranian news agency released several pictures of the visit. In one, Kerry and the President's brother are walking toward each other with open arms, about to embrace. Another showed Kerry, seated next to Fereydoun, reaching out to hold his arm. These images and others, which would have been considered treasonous in Tehran not long ago, were widely shared on social media.

The Iranians have returned home for Nowruz and the funeral service. Funerals in the families of Iranian leaders usually involve both politics and public pageantry. Even bitter rivals show up to pay respects. The occasion will be an opportunity for President Rouhani to demonstrate his standing in Iran, and perhaps rally support for a deal.


...that the Soviet regime could not withstand glasnost/perestroika.

Posted by at March 25, 2015 5:59 PM
  

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