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Yesterday was a big day at the U.N. Both President Obama and new Iranian President Rouhani spoke. There was lots of anticipation that an in-person meeting would also occur, as the beginning of a beautiful new friendship, but that didn’t quite pan out.
Why is it so Awkward Between These Two?
Iran and the U.S. have a long history of not trusting each other. It doesn’t help that they have very different friends. For example, the U.S. loves Israel, whom Iran has previously called “a cancerous tumor;” Iran is close to Hezbollah, a militant group that really, really doesn’t like Israel. The U.S. and friends are very worried that Iran’s nuclear program doesn’t have the best of intentions. Although Iran says it’s for peaceful purposes, the international community has still imposed major economic sanctions on the country. Iran does not appreciate that.
What Did Obama Talk About?
The U.S.’s agenda in the Mideast. It was a response to criticism that the U.S. is either too hands-off or too involved in the area. He talked about finding peace between Israelis and Palestinians in a two-state solution. He urged the U.N. to pass a strong resolution to make sure Syria sticks to its promise of giving up chemical weapons. And he also talked Iran, as in opening the door to diplomacy.
What Did Rouhani Talk About?
He’s ready to chat nuclear to get rid of all the tension and concerns over the controversial nuclear program. But, he wants everyone to recognize Iran’s right to enrich uranium, a key ingredient in a nuclear weapon. He also criticized the economic sanctions on Iran as “violent” for their severe impact on the economy.
Did They Kiss and Make Up?
No, they didn’t even get to handshake base. There was lots of anticipation for a historic run-in between Obama and Rouhani. But it didn’t happen. The White House said HandGate would prove “too complicated” for Rouhani back home. But an Iranian diplomat is supposed to chat with six world powers, including the U.S., tomorrow.
If you are a former co-worker of Rouhani, you may now endorse his skills—like “Destruction” and “Nuclear Weapons.” Israel, which is highly suspect of Iran’s new friendly ’tude, published a fake LinkedIn account for Rouhani. It did not endorse him.
Any Other Countries Have Something to Say?
Brazil’s President Rousseff had lots to talk about on a totally different topic. She’s really annoyed about the N.S.A.’s surveillance habit and called it totally unacceptable. Leaks about U.S. surveillance on Brazil and Rousseff came out a few weeks ago, leading Rousseff to postpone a visit to Washington, in a rare snub. Hey, Edward Snowden, thanks for all your help.
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