Rouhani - president of Iran -open letter


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international community faces many challenges in this new world — terrorism, extremism, foreign military interference, drug trafficking, cybercrime and cultural encroachment — all within a framework that has emphasized hard power and the use of brute force.

We must pay attention to the complexities of the issues at hand to solve them. Enter my definition of constructive engagement.
In a world where global politics is no longer a zero-sum game, it is — or should be — counterintuitive to pursue one’s interests without considering the interests of others. A constructive approach to diplomacy doesn’t mean relinquishing one’s rights.
It means engaging with one’s counterparts, on the basis of equal footing and mutual respect, to address shared concerns and achieve shared objectives. In other words, win-win outcomes are not just favorable but also achievable. A zero-sum, Cold War mentality leads to everyone’s loss.

Sadly, unilateralism often continues to overshadow constructive approaches. Security is pursued at the expense of the insecurity of others, with disastrous consequences.
More than a decade and two wars after 9/11, al-Qaeda and other militant extremists continue to wreak havoc. Syria, a jewel of civilization, has become the scene of heartbreaking violence, including chemical weapons attacks, which we strongly condemn.
In Iraq, 10 years after the American-led invasion, dozens still lose their lives to violence every day. Afghanistan endures similar, endemic bloodshed.

The unilateral approach, which glorifies brute force and breeds violence, is clearly incapable of solving issues we all face, such as terrorism and extremism.
I say all because nobody is immune to extremist-fueled violence, even though it might rage thousands of miles away. Americans woke up to this reality 12 years ago.

My approach to foreign policy seeks to resolve these issues by addressing their underlying causes. We must work together to end the unhealthy rivalries and interferences that fuel violence and drive us apart.
We must also pay attention to the issue of identity as a key driver of tension in, and beyond, the Middle East.

At their core, the vicious battles in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria are over the nature of those countries’ identities and their consequent roles in our region and the world. The centrality of identity extends to the case of our peaceful nuclear energy program.
To us, mastering the atomic fuel cycle and generating nuclear power is as much about diversifying our energy resources as it is about who Iranians are as a nation, our demand for dignity and respect and our consequent place in the world. First, we must join hands to constructively work toward national dialogue, whether in Syria or Bahrain.
We must create an atmosphere where peoples of the region can decide their own fates. As part of this, I announce my government’s readiness to help facilitate dialogue between the Syrian government and the opposition
WAPO editorial

These are only words, and whether there is any meaning behind them is not clear. It does seem that after eight years of the fiery Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president,
Mr. Rouhani is attempting to change the tone. He is not a reformer, but he is a centrist, and his election victory, as well as his early statements, could signal a new course, somewhat different from the bitter confrontations of recent years.
Mr. Rouhani defeated a slate of more conservative candidates.
He has talked of expanding civil liberties and freeing some political prisoners. He has appointed some technocrats to his cabinet and has suggested he may lift or ease Internet censorship, which has been heavy and heavy-handed. “Gone are the days when a wall could be built around the country,” he said, according to the Economist. “Today there are no more walls.”

All well and good. But the United States and its partners who want Iran to stop enriching uranium for a potential nuclear weapons program can ill afford to see Mr. Rouhani through rose-colored glasses. The Supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, remains the true center of power and controls Iran’s nuclear program. The Revolutionary Guard Corps is still a major force, up to its eyeballs in Syria and supplying Hezbollah. Mr. Rouhani, an experienced operator in Iran’s elite jockeying, will have all of them breathing down his neck in the months ahead.

Nonetheless, the West should resume negotiations soon to explore the depth of Mr. Rouhani’s seriousness and whether his election has come with room to maneuver.
The White House reacted positively to the new president’s overtures, and the European Union’s senior foreign policy official, Catherine Ashton, called on Mr. Rouhani to agree to a new round of talks as soon as possible.

Mr. Rouhani’s priorities may well be at home, where Iran’s economy is crumbling. He will undoubtedly be eager to ease strict international sanctions, yet it is not clear whether or how quickly he can or wants to change course on Iran’s nuclear program.
The Western powers should swallow hard and show up ready to talk. Mr. Rouhani’s demand for mutual respect is not unreasonable.

Those talks must proceed with urgency, however. As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Wednesday, “while everybody is busy talking to him, he’ll be busy enriching uranium.” Mr. Netanyahu, in fact, claimed that the Iranian nuclear program has accelerated.
At about the same time, the publication IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly revealed the previously undisclosed location of a new Iranian facility that could be used to launch intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Certainly international sanctions must remain in place absent genuine evidence that Iran has abandoned its nuclear weapons ambitions. No amount of sweet talk can change that
good editorial, at least start talks, what is left to lose with Iran? The editorial was written before Rouhani pledged to not develop nukes -

(trust but verify comes to mind) - and Israel is not going to want any talks, but the US/west has to recognize Iran is a regional power.

Enough of the
zero-sum, Cold War mentality leads to everyone’s loss
. as Rouhani says.
Excellent and honest appeal to the world.

Which will be taken by the US and used to demonize Iran some more. Finally, after Putin's and Obama's initiative for peace the US warmongering co-ksuckers are being listened to less and less. There is hope!