The Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, recently told an NBC News correspondent that nuclear weapons would never be developed under his government’s reign.
This represents a huge step forward in repairing frosty relations between the United States and Iran, which progressively worsened under the rule of Mahmoud Ahmedinejad.
During his inaugural speech, earlier this year, Rouhani spoke of his desire to engage in negotiations with the United States over the Iranian administration’s controversial nuclear program, in a bid to end the harsh economic sanctions imposed by the Western civilization.
Lines of communication had been established immediately, following Rouhani’s June election. President Barack Obama sent the new Iranian leader correspondence, expressing his desire to resolve the nuclear issue, by providing the country with an opportunity to demonstrate that its capabilities are solely designed for peaceful functions.
Rouhani’s intentions seemed to have been supported by the head of Tehran’s nuclear program, who maintains the new leader has shown the desire to flesh out diplomatic options with the U.S.
However, relations between the two countries are still tenuous, with both sides remaining cautious of one another. An Iranian diplomat, Marzieh Afkham, criticized Obama’s letter for showing a lack of respect, whilst continuing to adopt threatening language.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz argues that these words must be followed by “concrete action.”
By: James Fenner