Since his election, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has maintained an optimistic posture on possibilities of a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran—or as he calls it, a win-win deal for all. “I think a final settlement can be achieved … the world is tired and wants it to end, resolved through negotiations.” A large group of Iranian civil society activists have added their voice to diplomacy for support for the nuclear deal. A majority of Iranians support nuclear negotiations. Similarly, in a July 2014 public opinion poll conducted by the Program for Public Consultation and the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland, 61% of Americans favored a nuclear deal with Iran.
With a Nov. 24th deadline looming on the nuclear talks between Iran and P5+1, the stakes for a nuclear deal could not have been any higher for President Hassan Rouhani of Iran. Since his election as President in June 2013, he has raised popular expectations that the nuclear dispute will be resolved and normalcy will return to Iran. Although Iranians have seen some improvement, hardliners in the parliament have blocked his programs, and his nuclear initiative is his only savior. However, the nuclear issue and the dispute with the United States is so embedded into the fractured domestic politics of Iran that Rouhani has to navigate the dangerous waters of factional politics very carefully
Environmental cooperation with Iran provides a unique opportunity for the United States and the Europeans to build important bridges with Iran. Chandran Nair, the founder and C.E.O. of The Global Institute for Tomorrow, and the author of “Consumptionomics,” has a good proposal in his latest article: “Western nations should reach out to Tehran and propose the creation of an international body to advise Iran on the water crisis and environmental issues in general. This may seem idealistic, but there are many good precedents for outreach of this kind, including the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, a body founded in 1992 that advises China on environmental issues and whose membership includes representatives from several Western countries.”
Iran is always a surprise, with a young society glamouring to imitate the West, they have made Iran into the nose job capital of the world -” with seven times more operations carried out there than in America – despite the high cost of the surgery…Cosmetic procedures cost five to six times the average monthly wage in Iran but according to a report in their conservative Etemad newspaper, as many as 200,000 Iranians are undergoing rhinoplasty operations every year.”
The latest mid-term elections in the United States has led to a Republican majorities in both the Senate and the House. Although this change of power in U.S. Senate could lead to Republicans demanding a a more hawkish foreign policy, particularly with respect to Iran, the current nuclear negotiations between Iran and the United States and the Europeans has gone too far to be reversed now. Of course, with a Nov. 24th deadline looming on the nuclear talks between Iran and P5+1, the negotiators enter the last month of negotiations with an urgency to complete a deal before this deadline. Both President Obama and President Rouhani have bet a huge amount on the success of a nuclear deal with Iran, and long-term engagement that will lead to normalization of relations between Iran and the United States. They have invested a lot to risk a failure, and the stakes could not have been higher for the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. The urgency of reaching a nuclear deal with Iran, and the conflict with ISIS were the focus of another secret letter from President Obama to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, his fourth letter to Khamenei since 2008.
Using Marcel Proust’s quote who said: “The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes,” Soraya Sepahpour goes to Iran to discover her homeland with new eyes, discarding both her Western lenses and Iranian lenses. Here she describes her incredible experience.