Window for Iran Deal Opens After Obama Win

White House May Seek Higher Profile Nuclear Talks

getty images

By Reuters

Published November 08, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 2)

But there are indications Iran’s leadership views Obama’s continued presence as preferable to the arrival of Romney, who some saw as more likely to cooperate with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a possible military strike on Iran.

“Obama’s people are a known quantity. Iran’s leaders know Obama has held the Israelis back from launching a military attack,” said Scott Lucas of the EA Worldview news website, which specialises in covering Iran. “They didn’t know what they were getting with Romney, and they were a little fearful.”

In a revealing speech in Tehran last week, Iran’s former envoy to Paris and the United Nations, Sadeq Kharrazi, praised Obama for his efforts in “reducing tensions between Islam and the West” and trying to “move closer to Iran”.

SANCTIONS

Obama started his presidency in 2009 with diplomatic overtures to Tehran, but successive rounds of sanctions imposed by Washington and the European Union have cut Iranian oil revenues and sharpened quarrels between factions.

“Obama was a tough president for Iran’s hardliners, because he exposed them as the problem. His … efforts to engage Iran accentuated Tehran’s internal divisions and created greater international unity,” said Karim Sadjadpour, associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington.

His administration now has a window to pursue talks with Iran, though campaigning for next year’s Iranian presidential election could close it down again in a few months time.

Talks are expected to resume between Iran and the P5+1 group - the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany - in November or December after the process stalled in June, and there have been signs that Iran’s most powerful figure, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, may be ready to move forward.

Negotiations have focused on conditions under which Iran might hold back its enrichment of uranium.

“The chances of getting negotiations up and running are much better with Obama, and he’s likely to go for that,” said one Western diplomat based in Tehran. “The clock is ticking and we need to get it sorted. If the Iranians are looking for a way to climb down, this is a good chance.”

Nonetheless, there is deep mistrust all round. Washington and its allies accuse Iranian negotiators of playing for time to further their programme and strengthen their position. Iran has accused the West of double standards by negotiating while imposing further punitive measures.

“In the past Iran has made steps towards rapprochement, and the Americans have retaliated by increasing sanctions,” said Mohammad Marandi of Tehran University. “There is explicit anger over the attempts to wreck the economy and prevent imports of foodstuffs and medicine, which hurts ordinary people.”

Many blame sanctions for the economic plight of Iran, which has been all but isolated from the international banking system, but they also point the finger at President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for failed economic policies. Some Iranians expressed relief that Obama secured a second term.

“We hate the policies of the U.S. and Israel, but Obama’s policies are wiser. The only chance we have for the situation not to get worse was an Obama victory,” said Tehran filmmaker Amin, one of several Iranians contacted by Reuters from Dubai.

Many had feared that under Romney the risk of being attacked would have risen and that Washington would have intervened in the Middle East as it did under Obama’s Republican predecessor George W. Bush. Among them was 32-year-old dissident journalist Mira.

“Iranians believe war would be destructive and would catapult the region two or three decades back,” she said.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.