In a sign that the US-Iranian detente continues, John Kerry met with newly appointed Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the United Nations. Media outlets and observers are describing this as a “breakthrough” meeting between the top diplomats from each country in New York City on Thursday night.
John Kerry meets Iran Foreign Minister Zarif
This closed-door meeting comes on the heels of President Obama landmark phone call with Iran’s new centrist president, Hassan Rouhani, the first between an American president and a leader in Iran in over 34 years.
The talks are focusing not only on the nuclear issues that have swirled in Iranian politics for the better part of a decade, but also on an easing a relations between the two world powers. The meetings point to an easing of tensions, which support Rouhani’s declaration of making Iran more open and welcoming to visitors from the West. When he was elected, Rouhani pledged to expand the economy, to help improve domestic infrastructure and to increase tourism and other social programs to promote to advancements made in Iran during this decade.
One analysis of the meeting stated:
- The one-on-one talk was remarkable for its symbolism. It showed that both President Barack Obama and his newly elected Iranian counterpart, Hasan Rouhani, are prepared to risk considerable political capital in a diplomatic initiative that could encounter resistance at home and from some of their most important foreign allies. In the U.S. case that means Israel and Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab states who feel threatened by Shiite Iran’s nuclear program.
- It also appeared to give weight to pledges by Rouhani, a Shiite Muslim cleric, before and after his unexpected election victory in June to seek a negotiated resolution to the nuclear dispute, win an end to the international sanctions that have devastated Iran’s economy and end its diplomatic isolation.
To read more about the meeting on McClatchy’s blog page, click here.
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