(2 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
On August 3, 2013, Hassan Rouhani took over the office of president of Iran, its seventh since the overthrow of the shah. He succeeded Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the controversial conservative who was most likely elected as a reaction to the US President George W. Bush calling Iran part of his “axis of evil” and UN sanctions. President Rouhani, a devote Muslim, is also a lawyer, academic and diplomat. He headed Iran’s former nuclear negotiating team and was the country’s top negotiator with the UK, France, and Germany on Iran’s nuclear program. He has been steadily reaching out to the world using a unique tool, Twitter. Yeah, he tweets and sent his blessing to Jews worldwide on Rosh Hashanah.
And he isn’t the only member of the Iranian government that Tweets, so does Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. He had a very interesting exchange with Christine Pelosi, daughter of U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi:
— sfpelosi (@sfpelosi) September 5, 2013
It would seem that rational heads have taken charge. Indeed they have. In the latest sign that he is reaching out to thaw the relationship with the US, Pres. Rouhani granted an interview with NBC News national and international correspondent Ann Curry who pointedly asked him about Iran’s intent to acquire nuclear weapons. Not surprising to anyone who pays close attention to the politics of Iran, Pres. Rouhani clearly stated the Iran will never develop nuclear weapons.
Pres. Rouhani confirmed that he has exchanged letters with President Barack Obama and is hoping to meet with him next week at the UN General Assembly in New York City.
A meeting could go a long way to cooling the militarist rhetoric that has dominated any discussion about the Middle East and move to ease the sanctions imposed by the international community on Iran that have mostly impacted the less fortunate Iranians.
The ball is now in President Obama’s court.