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 »
President Trump is taking heat for another series of tweets, this one aimed at the co-hosts of Morning Joe. “I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore),” Trump wrote. “Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came … to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!” In a tweet, Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) said of Trump's statement, "This is not okay." NBC public relations chief Mark Kornblau said it's "beneath my dignity to respond to the President of the United States."
"Congressional investigators now want to interview Keith Schiller, President Donald Trump’s longtime bodyguard-turned-White House aide, as part of their investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, sources familiar with the investigation told ABC News. Schiller, the former head of security for the Trump Organization who now serves as the White House director of Oval Office operations, is one of several Trump associates on the House Intelligence Committee’s witness list in its ongoing investigation into Russian election interference."
"After eight months of grinding urban warfare, Iraqi government troops on Thursday captured the ruined mosque in Mosul from where Islamic State proclaimed its self-styled caliphate three years ago," and the Iraqi military expect the entire city to be retaken in a matter of days. "Their fictitious state has fallen," said an Iraqi military spokesman.
"The move puts to death the long-suffering tie-up between Walgreens and Rite Aid, which was originally announced in October 2015 ...The new deal was designed to alleviate the FTC's concerns about the market overlap between Walgreens and Rite Aid and the bolstered bargaining power a full acquisition would have given Walgreens. Rite Aid said it had to ditch the original deal after regulators privately 'led the company to believe that the parties would not have obtained FTC clearance to consummate the merger.'"