Iran’s Leaders Signal Effort at New Thaw – NYTimes.com

Is this a real moment for something new with Iran?

Tehran’s turnaround is all the more startling in view of the eight, often bizarre, years of Mr. Rouhani’s Holocaust-denying predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who relished every opportunity to ruffle the feathers of Western leaders. But Mr. Ahmadinejad’s bellicose nationalism drove Iran into a diplomatic isolation that left it with Venezuela and Syria for allies and saddled it with debilitating economic sanctions over its nuclear program, analysts said.

Those sanctions have more than halved Iran’s oil sales, from 2.4 million barrels a day in 2011 to less than 1 million now, and inflation has spiked; the currency, the rial, has fallen by half. It was the danger of falling even deeper into this economic abyss, possibly threatening their hold on power, that prompted Iran’s leaders to mend ties not only with the West but with their own people, who desperately want more personal freedoms, analysts say.

via Iran’s Leaders Signal Effort at New Thaw – NYTimes.com.

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3 thoughts on “Iran’s Leaders Signal Effort at New Thaw – NYTimes.com

  1. trawson7 says:

    I sure hope this is real! The United States and the nuclear world in general is very serious about containing nuclear capacity, and I think that a certain series of events (that for a while seemed quite likely) could have easily catapulted the US & Iran into a war that only would had complicated the already-messy situation in the Middle East. The idealist in me really wants to believe Iran; if they are serious, this could really benefit our relations with and influence in the Middle East.

    However, the realist in me argues that there is definitely some kind of a selfish reason behind this action on Iran’s part, and I thus am skeptical of what those reasons might be. Maybe it is only an economic one, or maybe they see stronger relations with the US as the only way they could ever begin producing nuclear weapons. That’s an interesting idea, I think; what would the Middle East look like if that were the case?

    I also think the US needs to be careful about not hurting their relations with Israel. Israel is an important ally of the United States, and I would hate for that relationship to be damaged because the US is now cuddling up to Iran. This idea is discussed more in this article:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/21/world/middleeast/prime-minister-netanyahu-on-iranian-president-rouhani.html

  2. alexechu1 says:

    It’s interesting how much things seem to have changed in Iran in a relatively short few months with the selection of a new leader. I appreciate that economic sanctions imposed by the UN, which often have the appearance of softness compared to relatively aggressive military action, were effective enough to play a key role in this change of direction.

    I think it’s always better to have more friends and fewer enemies. If things really are changing in Iran, I think things should change in the United States as well; it is a little exceptional to expect the world to come to us on our terms every times. I hope to see accommodations made on both sides to more closely approach a stabler situation in the Middle East.

  3. josephdecker says:

    What a breakthrough in diplomacy this could be if things actually played out the way they are supposed to! Iran’s nuclear program has always been a major concern to the United States. In fact, one of the reasons we were considering a military strike against Syria is because we would have appeared “weak” to Iran without doing anything at all. Although there are plenty of reasons to have reservations, I have hope that a legitimate diplomatic solution can be found to Iran’s nuclear weapons problem. Obama’s letter to the new Iranian President seems to have had an effect on the Supreme Leader as well. I agree with Alex. Let’s hope we capitalize on this opportunity and make the accommodations necessary for a more stable Middle East.

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