According to Reuters, officials of the Obama administration have claimed a meeting between the American President, Barack Obama, and the recently elected Iranian leader, Hassan Rouhani, did not transpire at the United Nations, in New York. Allegedly, despite Obama making it clear that he was willing to engage in discussions, Iranian officials claimed it would be too complicated.
The news comes as somewhat of a surprise, as both parties had recently articulated their willingness to engage in joint discussions over Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
Previously, Obama had seized the opportunity to open up lines of communication, after Rouhani’s election in June of this year. The American president sent a letter to Rouhani, expressing his desire to come to an understanding. Obama had also indicated that he would be willing to provide the Iranian government the opportunity to demonstrate that their nuclear capabilities were designed for peaceful purposes.
In response, Rouhani seemed receptive to these calls, perhaps hoping to negotiate an end to many of the harsh economic sanctions imposed by the West.
Although, on the surface, it might seem that progression has stalled, both sides stress that the proposed UN meeting was not aimed at discussing the issue of Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
Meanwhile, the United States secretary of state, John Kerry, is due to continue diplomatic discussions with the Iranians.
By: James Fenner