The two presidents – Obama and Rouhani – are exchanging letters. There is hope for normalcy in relations and removal of sanctions against Iran.

Iran and United States enjoy a unique relationship which begins with hate and ends up in hate but in between it is like a fern diversified with fragrant and enchanting flowers of friendship hidden from the ordinary eyes especially those of Arabs and Israelites. It is difficult to believe but true to the hilt.

Iran Map US and Iran Relations   A Glimmer of Hope


Mr. Alan Eyre, a Persian-language spokesman of the U.S. State Department, on Wednesday spelled the American policy while giving an interview to the Trend News Agency. “Now that a new government has come to power, we hope that this government is ready to interact seriously so that we can reach a diplomatic solution… We are ready to interact with the administration of Dr. Rouhani based on mutual respect to reach a diplomatic solution to the nuclear issue.”

Asked if the sanctions would be eased if Iran contributes to the settlement of the nuclear dispute, he said, “When Iran cooperates with the international community, based on the cooperation, the sanctions would be eased and lifted eventually.”

It is said that Mr Ahmedinejad had written a 17 page letter to President Bush that dealt with every point of friction between the two countries. President Bush could never make up his mind whether to answer that letter. He left the office for the good and so has Mr Ahmedinejad.

As one Urdu poet had once said – “Mat mere rang-e-zard ka charcha karo ke dost, rang eksa kabhi bhe kisi ka naheen rehta.” Don’t put too much emphasis at my pale color my face, the colors keep changing.” It seems to be the time of a significant change.

Someone had asked Senator Barack Obama during the presidential debate in 2007 if he would meet the leaders of Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Syria, and Venezuela without preconditions during his first year of office. He replied and that is preserved in history books. “It is a disgrace that we have not spoken to them.”

It was another matter that his rival for the nomination, Hillary Clinton, criticized his position as “irresponsible and frankly naive”. Barack Obama won the nomination and the election and tried in his own way to fulfill his promise. In 2009 President Obama wrote directly to Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei – the country’s final decision maker. Unfortunately the response was nothing promising to US interests. Iran held presidential election and the atmosphere between the US and Iran deteriorated further.

Now there is a glimmer of hope again. Iran has a new a liberal and more flexible President Hassan Rouhani. The air has a different scent. The new president promises moderation and serious engagement with the outside world.

As it is known, Mr Obama has again picked up his pen. The two presidents are exchanging letters. Political Scientists around the world anticipating that the two men may decide to meet at the United Nations in New York later this month when the two attend the annual session of the General Assembly. Not only these two counties but the world has to gain a lot if they bury the hatchet and the 11-year long dispute over Iran’s nuclear ambitions is resolved.

Just before he is to make his first appearance at United Nations General Assembly Mr. Rouhani spoke on Wednesday to the American television network NBC in Tehran, “We have never pursued or sought a nuclear bomb and we are not going to do so. We have time and again said that under no circumstances would we seek any weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, nor will we ever.” Iran has always maintained that its nuclear activities are purely peaceful. However, the U.S. and its allies suspect Iran is trying to develop a nuclear weapon, a feat some experts say the country might be able to accomplish as early as next year.

The interviewer asked Mr. Rouhani,” Does he really have the power to make major decisions and concessions on the nuclear issue?”
“In its nuclear program, this government enters with full power and has complete authority,” Mr. Rouhani said. “We have sufficient political latitude to solve this problem.”

Let us keep our fingers crossed. India could also be a catalyst in this win-win friendship.

By Naim Naqvi

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