Iran: We Are Not a Threat

The U.S. disagrees, however, which complicates future negotiations between the two nations.

Hasan Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, addresses the 68th United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013.
National Journal
Marina Koren
See more stories about...
Marina Koren
Sept. 24, 2013, 2:39 p.m.

Ir­a­ni­an Pres­id­ent Has­san Rouh­ani said Tues­day he listened care­fully to Pres­id­ent Obama’s speech to the United Na­tions Gen­er­al As­sembly. He must have heard then, the pres­id­ent say that U.S. dip­lo­mat­ic ef­forts will soon be­come fo­cused on “Ir­an’s pur­suit of nuc­le­ar weapons.”

In his own speech, Rouh­ani re­it­er­ated his re­cent state­ments about his gov­ern­ment’s nuc­le­ar pro­gram. Spe­cific­ally, that Tehran doesn’t have any nuc­le­ar weapons, which “have no place in Ir­an’s se­cur­ity and de­fense doc­trine and con­tra­dict our fun­da­ment­al and eth­ic­al con­vic­tions.” He ad­ded, as trans­lated by an in­ter­pret­er. “Ir­an poses ab­so­lutely no threat to the world or the re­gion.”

Rouh­ani called threats posed by Ir­an “ima­gin­ary,” say­ing, “Those who harp on the so-called threat of Ir­an are either a threat against in­ter­na­tion­al peace and se­cur­ity them­selves.” Ir­an, he said, is the “an­chor of sta­bil­ity” in an un­stable re­gion.

While Obama and Rouh­ani can’t agree on the state of Ir­an’s nuc­le­ar pro­gram, they ap­pear to have found com­mon ground about what’s next: “mu­tu­al re­spect” in fu­ture talks. Such ne­go­ti­ations would end a 34-year freeze on U.S.-Ir­an dip­lo­mat­ic re­la­tions.

For Rouh­ani, though, it’s not time for that just yet. The Ir­a­ni­an pres­id­ent de­clined to meet with Obama on the side­lines of Tues­day’s events, ac­cord­ing to pool re­ports, ex­plain­ing that such an en­counter is “too com­plic­ated” at this time.

Still, Rouh­ani’s goal is “to re­move any and all reas­on­able con­cerns about Ir­an’s peace­ful nuc­le­ar pro­gram.” The White House’s in­stance that Ir­an’s nuc­le­ar pro­gram is any­thing but peace­ful, however, com­plic­ates that.

What We're Following See More »
SEVEN-POINT LEAD IN A FOUR-WAY
Quinnipiac Has Clinton Over 50%
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump 51%-41% in a new Quinnipiac poll released today. Her lead shrinks to seven points when the third-party candidates are included. In that scenario, she leads 45%-38%, with Gary Johnson pulling 10% and Jill Stein at 4%.

Source:
PROCEDURES NOT FOLLOWED
Trump Not on Ballot in Minnesota
2 hours ago
THE LATEST
MIGHT STILL ACCEPT FOREIGN AND CORPORATE MONEY
Chelsea to Stay on Board of Clinton Foundation
3 hours ago
THE LATEST

Is the Clinton family backtracking on some of its promises to insulate the White House from the Clinton Foundation? Opposition researchers will certainly try to portray it that way. A foundation spokesman said yesterday that Chelsea Clinton will stay on its board, and that the "foundation’s largest project, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, might continue to accept foreign government and corporate funding."

Source:
INTERCEPT IN MIDDLE EAST
Navy Calls Iranian Ships’ Actions Dangerous, Unprofessional
4 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Four Iranian ships made reckless maneuvers close to a U.S. warship this week, the Pentagon said Thursday, in an incident that officials said could have led to dangerous escalation." The four Iranian vessels engaged in a "high-speed intercept" of a U.S. destroyer in the Strait of Hormuz. A Navy spokesman said the Iranina actions "created a dangerous, harassing situation that could have led to further escalation including additional defensive measures" by the destroyer.

Source:
$300 SAVINGS CARD
Under Pressure, EpiPen Maker Drops Prices
4 hours ago
THE LATEST

Amid public outcry and the threat of investigation by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Mylan has agreed to effectively drop the price of EpiPens. "The company, which did not lower the drug's list price, said it would reduce the patient cost of EpiPen through the use of a savings card, which will cover up to $300 of EpiPen 2-Pak."

Source:
×