President Obama Announces New Diplomatic Efforts with the Islamic Republic of Iran

Posted by Megan Slack
September 27, 2013

Today, President Obama spoke with President Rouhani of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the first communication between an American and Iranian President since 1979.

The two leaders discussed ongoing efforts to reach an agreement over Iran’s nuclear program. In a statement this afternoon from the White House Briefing Room, President Obama said that while “success is by no means guaranteed, I believe we can reach a comprehensive solution.”

"I’ve directed Secretary Kerry to continue pursuing this diplomatic effort with the Iranian government.  We had constructive discussions yesterday in New York with our partners -- the European Union, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and China -- together with the Iranian Foreign Minister.  Going forward, President Rouhani and I have directed our teams to continue working expeditiously, in cooperation with the P5-plus-1, to pursue an agreement.  And throughout this process, we’ll stay in close touch with our friends and allies in the region, including Israel."

“Resolving this issue, obviously, could also serve as a major step forward in a new relationship between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran -- one based on mutual interests and mutual respect,” President Obama said. “It would also help facilitate a better relationship between Iran and the international community, as well as others in the region -- one that would help the Iranian people fulfill their extraordinary potential, but also help us to address other concerns that could bring greater peace and stability to the Middle East.”

Today’s announcement comes on the same day as a major diplomatic breakthrough on Syria, President Obama said this afternoon, as the UN Security Council will vote on a Resolution that would require the Assad regime to put its chemical weapons under international control, so they can ultimately be destroyed.

“This binding resolution will ensure that the Assad regime must keep its commitments, or face consequences,” President Obama said.

About the Author: Megan Slack serves at the White House.

Editor's Note: A version of this entry originally appeared on the White House Blog.

Comments

Comments

Maureen V.
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Massachusetts, USA
September 27, 2013
The announcement today is of such symbolic significance that we can only hold our breath. It has been so long, too long. I am so thrilled that President Obama, Secretary Kerry and President Rouhani have somehow found the means to reach this historic point in time. This is one day to remember and I hope to read more comments from past Dipnote followers who have engaged on the above.
Eric J.
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New Mexico, USA
September 28, 2013

I got a note from an Iranian friend the other day in which he told me he thought "the mullah's have blinked"...and have donned their smily face.

If one looks at Iran's nuclear program and asks "why is Iran a threat?" One would naturally have to look at the Iranian government and it's foreign policy holisticly to understand the "why?" as well as the "how".

Compared to a nation like France, that has a robust nuclear power program and nuclear weapons ...One would have to look at their foreign policy goals and ask in comaritive measure, "Why is France Not a threat?"

See, it's not the nuclear program's peaceful status one way or another that can be determined by the IAEA...to properly judge whether a program is or not one must judge whether a nation has a peaceful mindset or not among its leadership.

And obviously France is not, and has not been chanting , "Death to America"...or anyone else for the last three decades like the leadership of Iran has.

So while I think it's a good thing to assess the current leader's mindset, though one phone-call probably only scratched the surface of intent...I wouldn't be taking any "fatwa" against building nuclear weapons as gospel, coming from the Ayatollah.

Some years ago a fellow that worked at LANL expressed some concern to me that there were an extrordinary number of Mormons being hired at the labs, and his concern was about religion being mixed with science in context with nuclear weapons work.

Being that I never knew him to have an intolerant outlook, I was a little surprised at the trend he was noticing, and quipped, "Well Tom, at least they arn't Jehova's witnesses looking to fufill prophesy."

Being the friendly folk who come to your door and inform you the world is about to end and act like they expect you to believe them while asking if you believe in a higher power. I simply remind them that if the world is going to end, it will only be because humanity did nothing to prevent its own demise while some idiot hastened the day for the sake of prophesy.

We separate religion and politics for a reason, and it's fair to say because of that that we don't have too much to fear about religios zealots taking over America's nuclear weapons work anytime soon...but part of being a working democracy is being ever vigilant to prevent that which may pose a threat to it.

So another aspect is whether or not a theocracy can ever be trusted with WMD's of any type, if their leadership answers not to international law, but one of their own interpretation of a higher power's ?

It's not like we worry about the French becoming a theocratic totalitarian state sponsor of terrorism any time soon...wheras Iran has willingly become so over the last three decades to the detriment of its international relations and to the detriment of its people, and their peaceful potential on the world stage.

And they describe the sanctions folks have placed upon Iran as being "violent" ??? They don't understand howv patient we've been apparently.

Look, If I came to the doctor hopping into his office on one foot with my other leg wrapped around my neck saying "Doctor it hurts, can you make it stop?"...and he says, "Well, stop doing that!"...that's a pretty rational cure for being all tied up like a pretzle in such a predicament.

And it probably serves pretty well for a cure for the Iranian government's political stupidity as well, metaphoricly speaking.

Should we give this new leader in Iran a chance to mend fences?

Sure, it's always in our national interest to see if the new "face of Iran" is any less of an idiot than the last guy was.

But it's not just transparancy and verifiability that's required to build trust...the Iranian government faces a watershed moment to reverse course towards war or not.

And maybe they have "blinked" and thought better of the couse they are on...but only by a comprehensive shift in foreign policy goals and mindset in power will they walk a different path away from confrontation with the international community, and ultimately war with America and its allies in the region..

If I have anything to add to what the President said in his phone call, I would have simply said that "humanity doesn't have time for this BS, and the quicker the Ayatollah realizes this, the better off Iran will be."

Not that I'm trying to be diplomatic about it...it just is what it is....and religious extremism ain't the way to a better future...or better relations with the US.

EJ

Patrick W.
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Maryland, USA
September 30, 2013
They should have Obamacare take affect over a one year period, so that people will have a chance too sign up for it before it goes in to effect. They should not defund it in anyway ,because it is the fist plan they have passed in years that actually helps people that need healthcare coverage . On the Iranian post, I like the news of talks between our two leaders on their nuclear programs and improving our relationship with their country. I hope talks will proceed on this topic and they can come to an agreement.. Good Luck on the negotiations !
Patrick W.
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Maryland, USA
October 2, 2013
I think the Republican Party should think about what they are doing too the American People. The affordable Healthcare Bill was passed and they need too move on for the wellbeing of this country. This small part of the Republican Party is not what most Republicans stand for. I think they want what is best for our country and are being held back by a few people who have no idea what they are doing.
Patrick W.
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Maryland, USA
October 5, 2013
It's time for better leaders in our House of Representatives. No more Tea Party lead House of Representatives . They have shut down our government over a healthcare plan that has been past, and is funded, and started all ready. They are destroying our economy for their own personal reasons. The longer this shut down goes on, the more they damage the lives of business owners the Republicans are suppose too be helping. For no reason but their own !!!
Eric J.
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New Mexico, USA
October 17, 2013

RE: Getting hung once is not enough...

http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/17/world/meast/iran-execution-survivor/index....

Apparently Allah showed the condemned man mercy, but the Ayatollah seems to disagree with Allah and will show none.

EJ

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