US/Iran: have a nice day

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The BBC reported that after the telephone conversation between Presidents Obama and Rouhani on 27 September the social media fizzed with excitement; ‘One of the most extraordinary tweets from the @HassanRouhani twitter account was: "In a phone conversation b/w #Iranian & #US Presidents just now: @hassanRouhani: "Have a Nice Day!" @BarackObama: "Thank you. Khodahafez [Goodbye]." ’ …

Spotlight on Iran

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It has long been a commonplace that Arabists are said to see the Palestine problem as the magic key which could unlock the other problems of the Middle East region. Temporarily at any rate this central role seems to have passed to Iran. As Martin Chulov writes in the Guardian today 25 September "Hassan Rouhani’s overtures to the …

Iran responds

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On 18 September President Hassan Rouhani of Iran told NBC News that Iran would never develop nuclear weapons (video clip at link), and spoke positively about the letters he had exchanged with President Obama. He is due to speak at the UN general assembly in New York of 24 September. The unexpected developments of the last …

Syria, Israel, Iran

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A striking feature of recent developments over Syria is that US congressional and public opinion appears not to have been much influenced by an intensive campaign by the Israeli lobby led by AIPAC to make the administration stand by its earlier determination to use force in Syria. This is unprecedented in recent years. Since it appears to reflect …

President Rouhani of Iran

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Since our posting of 4 August there has been much international debate about Iran under its new president. As a comment by Reuters put it, "Iran’s recent elections produced a striking result. In a six-man race, one candidate won an easy victory without the expected runoff. More to the point, Hassan Rohani campaigned for policies of negotiation …

Iran: a new page

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The election of President Hassan Rouhani of Iran has been widely welcomed, with the reservation that Iran is not run by its President. We circulate below three reports assessing the outlook for change, the first from the Voice of America by Barbara Slavin of the Atlantic Council, the second from The National Interest by former CIA official …

Iran

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Hassan Rohani was the unexpected winner of the ian presidential election on 15 June. Regarded as the only moderate candidate he won 50.71% of the vote on a 72.2% turnout. His appointment has been cautiously welcomed in Washington, Moscow, the Arab world (where congratulations from Saudi Arabia and the other GCC states went slightly beyond routine protocol) and by President …